Feb. 22, 2003
TUCSON, Ariz.- The Arizona baseball team rallied from an early 4-2 deficit to even its series with Minnesota at a game apiece with an 11-5 win over the Gophers at Frank Sancet Field on Saturday. The victory improved Arizona's record to 7-4 for the season, while the Gophers lost for the first time and fell to 1-1.
Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth, Arizona's offense plated four runs to take a two-run lead and chase 2002 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year C.J. Woodrow from the game.
Sophomore Pat Reilly got things started for the Wildcats in the fourth with a base hit through the left side of the Gopher infield to lead off the inning. Freshman Nick Hundley followed with a double to left field, which plated Reilly from first. Sophomore John Hardy tied the score with a double of his own to left center, plating Hundley.
After a wild pitch moved Hardy to third, freshman Brad Boyer came up with Arizona's fourth hit in the inning, a one-out single to right, to plate Hardy and give Arizona a one-run advantage at 5-4. A balk by Woodrow and a ground out off the bat of Jordan Brown moved Boyer to third. Woodrow's day came to an end with a five-pitch walk to Moises Duran to place runners on the corners with two outs.
Gophers' relief pitcher Tim Theis' first offering to Derek Decater bounced past catcher Jake Elder for a wild pitch and allowed Boyer to score to close out the fourth inning rally.
Minnesota closed to within one with a run in the top of the fifth, but Arizona responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning and four more in the bottom of the seventh to put the game out of reach.
Reigning Collegiate Baseball Pitcher of the Week Sean Rierson (2-0) picked up his second consecutive win with six innings of work. The right-hander gave up five runs, four earned, on nine hits. He struck out four and walked none for the second straight game. Woodrow (0-1) was tagged for the loss after giving up six runs on 10 hits in just 3 2/3 innings of work.
Offensively, eight of Arizona's nine starters collected at least one hit in the game. Boyer, Decater and Jeff Van Houten all posted three hits on the day. Boyer scored twice and Van Houten chipped in with three RBIs in the winning effort. Reilly's fourth inning single extended his hitting streak to 16 straight games. He finished the game 1 for 4 with three runs scored.
The Wildcat bats rapped out 16 hits, including a season-high eight doubles, off of three different Minnesota pitchers in the game.
Minnesota's Luke Appert continued his hot start to the season with a 4 for 5, 3-RBI day at the plate.
The two schools will meet for the rubber game of the series on Sunday at noon. Arizona's Richie Gardner will take the mound in search of his team-leading third win of the season.