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Baseball Handles Washington State, 29-4
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 05/14/2006
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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            TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The Arizona baseball team scored a season-high 29 runs on 27 hits in a 25-run victory over visiting Washington State in its Pac-10 three-game series opener with the Cougars at Kindall Field on Saturday. The final run total eclipsed UA’s previous school record for a conference contest of 22 runs set against Arizona State in 1980, and again in 1986.

 

            The 29-4 victory improved Arizona to 22-25 on the year and into a tie with the Cougars (31-18) in the Pac-10 Conference standings with a 7-9 league record.

 

            The Wildcats snapped a 3-3 tie and blew the game open in the bottom of the fourth inning, as they sent 18 batters to the plate and scored 13 runs on eight hits, three walks, two hit batters and a pair of key WSU errors. All nine starters scored at least one run in the frame and seven finished with at least one run drive in.

 

            Bill Rhinehart hit a solo home run to right field to lead off the fourth, and Brad Boyer added a bases-loaded triple and a run-scoring hit by pitch for four RBI in the frame. Freshman Jon Gaston and Rhinehart each had two hits in the inning, and Rhinehart, David Plante, Matt Denker and Brad Glenn scored two runs each.

 

            The Wildcats tacked on four more runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and eight in the eighth to score the most runs in a game since defeating BYU 32-3 on Feb. 1, 2003. The Saturday effort fell 11 runs shy of the all-time run total in a single game set in 1995 in a 40-10 win over St. Francis.

 

            Offensively all 12 Arizona players with a plate appearance in the game collected a hit, and 11 of the 12 finished with a run scored and at least one RBI on the night. Boyer led all players with a career-high seven RBI after finishing 2 for 5, with a triple and two runs scored.

 

            Rhinehart, whose fourth inning home run was his fourth of the year, went 5 for 6 with four RBI and four runs scored, and freshman T.J. Steele added four hits in six trips to the plate, including a double and a triple, and touched home a game-high five times on the night.

 

            Jason Donald, who finished 2 for 6 with a RBI and three runs scored, extended his hitting streak to a season-high 18 straight games with a bunt single in the second inning, while Colt Sedbrook (3 for 5, 3 RBI, 2 runs) and Gaston (3 for 6, four RBI, 2 runs) chipped in with three hits each.

 

            The offensive outburst took away from a fine performance on the mound by three Arizona pitchers. Starter Preston Guilmet and relievers Ryan Perry and Mike Colla teamed up to limit WSU to four runs on nine hits over the nine innings. The trio combined to strikeout nine Cougar batters on the night, while issuing only three walks.

 

            Guilmet (3-6) picked up his first victory on the mound since March 25, tossing seven solid innings. The right-hander surrendered three runs on seven hits and finished with seven Ks and three walks.

 

            WSU’s Reese Barker (2-3), who gave up six runs on seven hits over three innings of work, was charged with the loss. He finished with one strikeout and one walk before departing in the fourth.

 

            Arizona and Washington State will meet up for the second game of the three-game series on Sunday at 6 p.m. Left-hander Brad Mills is the scheduled starter for the Cats. The game can be heard live on the radio in Tucson on 1290 AM.

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