Feb. 21, 2003
TUCSON, Ariz.- The Minnesota baseball team came out slugging right from the start and posted enough early runs to hang on to defeat Arizona 13-10 at Frank Sancet Field on Friday. The loss snapped Arizona's season-high trying three-game winning streak and dropped the Wildcats to 6-4 for the season.
The Gophers (1-0) sent 11 hitters to the plate and roughed up Wildcat starter Joe Little for seven first inning runs on eight hits. The Arizona southpaw managed to make it through just two outs in the first inning before getting lifted from the game.
Reliever Chris Frey fared little better as he surrendered five more runs over three innings to the potent Minnesota bats. It wasn't until junior Chris Goodman put the UM offense in check over the next 4 1/3 innings that Arizona could make an attempt at a comeback.
Trailing 12-4 in the bottom of the sixth, Brian Anderson and Richard Mercado led off the inning with back-to-back solo home runs to cut into the Minnesota lead. For Mercado it was his first round-tripper of the season and for Anderson it marked his second of the day and third of the year after a second inning solo blast helped put UA on the scoreboard. The Wildcats tacked on another run in the inning on a Jeff Van Houten's ground out to pull with five at 12-7.
The Wildcats scored two more in the bottom of the eighth on Brad Boyer's two-run blast and one in the ninth on a pair of UM errors to pull within three runs at 13-10, but could get no closer as Gopher reliever Bull induced Pat Reilly into a game ending groundout with nobody on to seal the victory.
Led by the top of the batting order, eight of Minnesota's nine starters finished the game with at least one hit. The first three batters, Sam Steidl, Ben Pattee and Luke Appert, went a combined 9 for 17 in the game. Each player finished with three hits and two runs scored. Catcher Jake Elder led the way for UM with four RBIs.
Reilly and Anderson led the way at the plate for Arizona, finishing with three and two hits, respectively. For Reilly, his second inning triple extended his hitting streak to 15-straight games. Anderson's two home runs marked the first time since Feb. 22 of last year that an Arizona player went over the fence twice in a game.
UM's Matt Loberg picked up the win with 3.2 innings of relief, while Little was tagged for the loss after pitching a career low 2/3 of an inning.
The Wildcats and Gophers will meet up for game two of the three game set on Saturday at 2 p.m.