May 10, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz.- Despite being out-hit 19-9 and watching a five run lead get erased, the Arizona baseball team hung on to score a run in the bottom of the 10th inning to defeat UCLA 10-9 in the three-game series opener between the two schools at Frank Sancet Field on Friday evening. The victory improved the Wildcats' record to 29-18 overall and inched them closer to .500 in the Pac-10 at 7-9. The Bruins fell in conference action for the third straight game, dropping to 22-29 overall and 6-10 in the Pac-10.
Sophomore Brian Anderson, who headed into the 10th 0 for 4 in the game, grounded a two-out single off of UCLA reliever Billy Susdorf (0-3) through the right side of the drawn in Bruin infield to plate Justyn St. Clair from third for the winning run. The hit gave Wes Zlotoff (2-1) his second win of the season after tossing one inning of relief for the Wildcats.
The evening got off to a fast start offensively as UCLA plated three runs in the top of the first to open the scoring on Wildcat starter Sean Rierson. Arizona answered with eight runs on five hits off of reigning Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week Mike Kunes in the home half of the inning to jump out to a five run lead.
Senior Brad Hassey hit his eighth home run of the season to lead off the game and begin the scoring. The Wildcats sent 11 hitters to the plate in the inning with Moises Duran chipping in with a bases loaded triple and Pat Reilly adding a two-RBI single.
After UCLA scored one in the top of the second, the Wildcats plated another run in the bottom of the third on Justyn St. Clair's grounder that was misplayed by Bruin second baseman Ryan Rasmussen. The fielding miscue allowed Reilly to score from the third, improving Arizona's advantage to five runs at 9-4.
UCLA cut the lead to one with four runs in the top of the fifth and Wes Whisler's solo shot over the scoreboard in right field tied the game at 9-9 in the top of the sixth. Whisler's homer was the 12th of the season for the first-year Bruin.
Neither team was able to score in regulation, paving the way for Anderson's heroics in the 10th. The two schools combined to strand seven runners on base in the final three innings, including five in scoring position.
Reilly led the way for the Wildcats at the plate, finishing the extra inning affair 3 for 3 with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored. Senior Chris Cunningham extended his season-high hitting streak to eight straight games with a single in the seventh inning.
Hassey's home run was his fourth to lead off an inning this season and his second to lead off a game.
The Wildcats and Bruins will play the second game of the series on Saturday. A pair of southpaws will square off as Arizona's Joe Little will take the mound against UCLA's Whisler. First pitch is slated 7 p.m.