May 3, 2003
TUCSON, Ariz.- Backed by right-hander Sean Rierson's third complete game of the season, the Arizona baseball team defeated Cal, 10-4, in Pac-10 Conference action at Frank Sancet Field on Saturday. The victory assured Arizona of its fifth conference series win in six tries this season.
The win also allowed the Wildcats (33-16, 11-6 Pac-10) to remain a half-game behind Pac-10 leader Stanford (29-14, 11-5 Pac-10) in the conference standings.
Rierson (8-1), who tied Richie Gardner for the team lead with his eighth win of the season, surrendered just three earned runs on six hits in the fifth complete game of his career. The right-hander struck out six and walked just two in his fifth straight start with seven or more innings pitched.
Offensively, Arizona responded to Cal's one-run first with three in the bottom half of the inning. Freshman Brad Boyer led off the home half of the first with his Arizona freshman record-tying 15th double of the season.
The first-year starter advanced to second on a balk by Cal starter Mike Padgett and scored his team-leading 66th run of the year on Derek Decater's fielder's choice ground ball to tie the game at 1-1.
Junior Brian Anderson followed with a one-out ground ball that Golden Bears' third baseman Matt Einspahr allowed to slide to through his legs for a two-base error, placing Decater on third and Anderson on second.
Sophomore Jeff Van Houten came up with a two-run single in the next at-bat to score Decater and Anderson to give Arizona a 3-1 lead.
Richard Mercado's two-run homer in the third, his fourth home run of the season, gave the Wildcats a 5-1 advantage and Rierson all the runs he needed on the night.
Arizona tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth and added three more insurance runs in the sixth in response to Cal's two-run fifth and one-run sixth that had cut the Arizona lead to 7-4.
Cal's Padgett (5-3) was charged with his third loss of the season after giving up 10 runs, eight earned, on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings of work.
Arizona's Boyer, who finished the game 3 for 5, tied and passed Keoni DeRenne and Damon Mashore's Arizona freshman record with a pair of doubles in the game, his 15th and 16th of the season. He also tied Mashore's freshman record with his 22nd stolen base of the year in the second inning.
Arizona will try for its first Pac-10 series sweep of the season in the series finale on Sunday. First pitch for the game is scheduled for noon and the game can be heard live on KNST (790-AM).