April 27, 2002
LOS ANGELES- The Wildcats' rally from an 11-3 deficit fell just short as 23rd-ranked USC defeated Arizona 12-10 at Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles on Saturday. The loss drops Arizona's record 27-18 on the season and 5-9 in the Pac-10. USC continued its charge through the conference improving to 28-16 overall and 11-3 in Pac-10 play.
Paced by a two-run first, a three-run second and a six-run third, the Trojans roared out to an 11-3 lead through the first third of the game. The Wildcats inched back their way back inning-by-inning, scoring three in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth to cut the USC advantage to 12-9 through six, but could get only one run closer as Brett Bannister silenced the Arizona offense over the final 3.1 innings.
The Cats had scoring opportunities in both the seventh and ninth innings, but were able to plate just one run in the final frame as USC handed Arizona its third straight Pac-10 loss. The Wildcats stranded 11 runners on base in the game.
Offensively, Arizona rapped out 14 hits in the game, including three for extra bases. Individually, seniors Brad Hassey and Chris Cunningham sparked the Wildcats at the plate. Hassey finished the game a team-best 4 for 5 with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Cunningham added two runs and two RBIs on a pair of hits in five at bats. The duo each hit a home run in the game, their seventh and 11th of the season, respectively.
Sophomore starter Marc Kaiser (5-4) was roughed up for nine runs in just 2.2 innings. He walked a season-high six batters in his fourth loss of the year. Bannister (5-2) picked up his fifth win of the season for the Trojans.
Arizona will look to salvage one win in the three-game series on Sunday. Lefty Joe Little will toe the rubber for the Wildcats in the 1 p.m. game. The game can be heard live on the radio at 790 KNST or over the Internet at www.knst.com.