TUCSON, Ariz. ?- Texas' Bobby Hudson drove home the game-winning run on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch with two outs in the top of the ninth, as top-ranked UT prevailed 5-4 over No. 12 Arizona in front of 4,644 fans at Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium on Friday.
The loss dropped the Wildcats to 11-4 overall for the year, while Texas improved to a perfect 16-0, the fifth-best start in UT history.
Tied 4-4 after eight complete, Texas started its ninth inning rally off of Arizona closer Mark Melancon with a leadoff walk to catcher Taylor Teagarden. Melancon struck out pinch hitter Thomas Incaviglia and induced Dooley Prince into a fly ball to left for the second out.
Clay Van Hook followed with an infield single off the glove of UA third baseman Brad Boyer to place runners on first and second for Chance Wheeler. The Longhorn first baseman hit a fielder’s choice ground ball to defensive replacement Lee Franklin, but his throw to shortstop Jason Donald at second arrived too late to fill the bases for Hudson.
The No. 9 batter in the UT order was hit in the midsection on Melancon’s third pitch of the at bat to drive in Teagarden from third for the go-ahead run. Melancon (0-1), who was charged with his first loss of the season, struck out David Maroul to end the inning
Longhorn closer J. Brent Cox worked around a hit batter in the ninth to preserve the lead and pick up his second win of the year. Cox (2-0) struck out three and gave up just one hit in a scoreless final 2 2/3 innings of work.
Texas jumped out to 1-0 lead in the second on a Wheeless RBI-ground out and added two more in the third on John Meloan throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Nick Peoples and another run-scoring ground out by Seth Johnston.
UT added a run in the sixth on Peoples sac-fly for a two run advantage, only to see UA tie the game in the seventh on a two-out single up the middle by Chris Frey that scored Jordan Brown from second and a throwing error on the hit by centerfielder Peoples that allowed Hundley to score from first base.
The two schools will meet up for game two of the series on Saturday at 4 p.m. MST. UA’s Kevin Guyette will take the mound as the starter for the Wildcats.
Arizona’s Jeff Van Houten (1 for 5, R, RBI) and Jordan Brown (1 for 4, R) extended their hitting streaks to 21 and 15 straight games respectively ... UT’s Drew Stubbs saw his 15-game hitting streak end after being removed from the game for a pinch hitter in the fourth inning ... Arizona starter John Meloan (5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 6 BB, 6 K) avoided losing his 12-game winning streak after UA rallied to tie the game in the seventh ... Arizona freshman reliever Eric Berger worked two scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh.