March 2, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz.- The Arizona baseball team put together a flurry of runs in the middle innings of its 12-1 win over Cal State Dominguez Hills at Frank Sancet Field Saturday evening. The Wildcats scored four in the fifth and five in the sixth to break a 1-1 tie to give starter Sean Rierson all the run support he needed. The victory improves Arizona's record to 16-4 for the season while the Toros fall to 9-8-1.
Rierson (4-1) showed no lingering effects from being hit on the right forearm against UC Irvine last week, as he held the Wildcats in the game until the bats warmed up on the blustery night. The righthander scattered just four hits over eight innings and did not allow a runner past second after the first inning. He gave up just the one run while striking out a career-high 10 batters. The performance earned him his team-leading fourth victory of the season.
Chris Goodman pitched perfect ninth to close out the win. CSUDH starter Aldo Silva (3-3) picked up the loss, giving up 10 of Arizona's 12 runs in the game.
The Toros took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first on Damien Lopez's RBI single to score Frank Perez.
The game remained tied up to the bottom of the fifth when Arizona exploded for four runs off of Toros' starter Silva. Marc Kaiser began the rally with a one-out double to right. After Chris Cunningham flew out to center for the second out, Richard Mercado walked and Moises Duran doubled. Duran's hit plated Kaiser and advanced Mercado to third, paving the way for Will Thompson's first of two triples on the evening.
The first-year first baseman busted out with a lined shot down the rightfield line to score Mercado and Duran for a 3-1 Arizona lead. DH shortstop Eric Pringle's throwing error on St. Clair's ground ball allowed Thompson to score for the final run of the inning.
The Wildcats posted five more runs in the sixth on a Kaiser RBI double, a Mercado sac-fly, Thompson's second two-run triple of the game and a wild pitch by Toro reliever Ramon Mata the allowed Thompson to score from third. The nine run cushion was more than enough for Rierson and the Arizona defense.
Offensively Arizona tallied eight extra base hits in the game. Thompson led all players individually with a 3-for-5, four RBI, two run outing. Kaiser scored three times in the game and also went 2-for-4 at the plate.
The Wildcats and Toros will meet again on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. for the final game of the two-game set. Joe Little will take the mound for Arizona in search of his fourth win of the season.