May 27, 2008
TUCSON, Ariz. - Arizona wrapped up its 2008 regular season with a 7-4 win over No. 2 Arizona State at Kindall Field on Saturday.
The victory handed the Wildcats the conference series win and improved them to 38-17 overall and 12-12 in the Pac-10. Arizona State, which spilt the season series with UA 2-2, completed the regular season 45-11 overall and 16-8 in the conference.
UA starter Eric Berger bounced back from a rough start against Stanford on Monday by tossing 5 2/3 shutout innings and the Wildcats scored all seven runs in the middle three innings to finish the season 25-5 at home.
Offensively junior Jon Gaston paced the Wildcats, finishing 2 for 4 with a double and four RBI. Rafael Valenzuela, who came up with the game-winning hit in Friday's 4-3 victory in 11 innings, went 2 for 4 with a double, a RBI and a run scored, and Bryce Ortega chipped in with a two-run homer and a pair of runs scored.
On the mound Berger (7-3), who didn't get out of the second inning against the Cardinal earlier this week, shut out the Sun Devils on five hits and finished with four strikeouts and three walks for his seventh win of the year.
Relievers Cory Burns and Ryan Perry worked a scoreless inning each to carry the shutout into the ninth, but ASU's Ike Davis hit his fifth career grand slam in the final frame to end Arizona's shot at its eighth whitewashing of the year.
ASU starter Seth Blair (4-2) was charged with the loss after allowing four runs on three hits over 4 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked one.
The Wildcats will take Sunday and Monday off as they await word on the postseason. The 16 regional sites for the NCAA tournament will be announced Sunday afternoon at approximately 4 p.m. Tucson time on ESPN2. Arizona has submitted a bid to serve as a regional host. The entire 64-team postseason field will be revealed on Monday on ESPN at 9:30 a.m. Tucson time.