Jan. 26, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz.- With a team that will rely heavily on pitching, defense and key hitting this season, the Arizona baseball team showed that it can flex its offensive muscles as well. The Wildcats exploded for 23 runs on 15 hits off of five different New Mexico pitchers in a 23-3 thrashing of the Lobos at Frank Sancet Field, Saturday afternoon.
The 1,331 fans on hand were treated to a scoring barrage as the Wildcats tallied at least one run in seven of the eight innings they hit in. The Lobo pitching staff aided the Wildcat cause by issuing 14 walks and hitting three batters as well.
The Wildcats tallied six extra base hits in the game, including three home runs by senior Brad Hassey, sophomore Moises Duran and freshman Jeff Van Houten. Duran's blast came with bases loaded in the eighth inning for Arizona's first grand slam in nearly two years. Eight of the nine Arizona starters scored at least one run and seven different players had one or more RBIs.
The Lobos had no answer for Duran, as the second-year Wildcat went 4-for-4 on the afternoon with the slam, four runs scored, a walk and a sacrifice fly. He drove in nine runs for Arizona, marking the third most RBIs in single game in school history.
Hassey finished the afternoon 2-for-5 with a three run homer, five RBIs and three runs scored. Van Houten, making his Wildcat debut as pinch hitter and defensive replacement went 2-for-2 at the plate with a pair of runs scored and his first RBI on the homer.
Designated hitter Ken Riley scored threes runs and drove in two without collecting a hit on the day. The junior walked four times and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Senior catcher Chris Cunningham matched Riley's walk total and scored four times while going 2-for-2 at the plate. He collected his third double of the season in the second inning.
Not to be out done by the offense, starter Joe Little (1-0) turned in the second top notch pitching performance on the mound in as many days. The lefty, making only his second career start, worked six innings of five hit ball. He struck out five and walk only one. Chris Goodman and Kevin Sears came in relief in the final three innings to close out the win.
In the two games thus far in the series, the Wildcat pitching staff has struck out 13 Lobo hitters, while walking only two. UNM's Aaron Smith (0-1) picked up the loss for the Lobos, surrendering eight runs in just 2.2 innings pitched.
The two schools will close out the three game set on Sunday. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.
Notes: The 23 runs scored in the game were the most by an Arizona team since Feb. 16, 2000, when Arizona crossed home 23 times against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi ... The Wildcats have outscored UNM 29-5 in the two games played in the series ... Hassey's and Van Houten's home runs were the first of their respective careers, Duran's was the second four-bagger of his career ... Trevor Mote was the last Arizona player to hit a grand slam, March 10, 2000 against UC Santa Barbara ... Dave Stegman holds the Arizona record for RBIs in a game when he totaled 11 of them in a game with UTEP on March 4, 1974 ... Arizona will send Marc Kaiser to the mound on Sunday to face New Mexico's Jeremy DeYapp.