April 20, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz.- The UC Riverside baseball team scored six runs in the fifth inning and starter Chris Smith tossed a complete game as the Highlanders defeated Arizona 12-5 at Frank Sancet Field on Saturday night. The Highlanders rapped out 12 hits in the game to improve to 23-18 for the season. The loss, just the seventh of season at home for Arizona, drops the Wildcats to 26-16 overall.
Smith (7-5) answered Sean Rierson's complete game on Friday with a nine inning gem of his own on Saturday. The UCR right-hander struck out six and walked two in his team-leading sixth complete game of the season
Arizona starter Marc Kaiser cruised through the first four innings without giving up single hit to the UCR offense, but a hit batter and an errant throw on a come-backer to the mound to lead off the top of the fifth turned the tide in favor of the Highlanders. Brian Emmons doubled to left field on Kaiser's 0-1 offering for UCR's first hit and two-runs.
A throwing error by John Hardy on Brian Wahlbrink's grounder to third led to another run and a 3-1 UCR lead. Jimmy Anderson plated Wahlbrink two batters later with a single to right and came home to score on Tony Festa's first home run of the season to complete the six run inning.
After Arizona answered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 6-4, but UCR added three more in the top of the sixth, one in the seventh and two in the eighth to take a commanding lead. The Wildcats scored one in the bottom of the ninth before succumbing to Smith and the Highlanders.
Brian Anderson paced the Wildcat offense with a pair of hits in the game and two RBIs. Senior Chris Cunningham plated a pair on his third triple of the season in the sixth. Moises Duran added three more hits in four at-bats and scored a run.
Senior Brad Hassey saw his season-high 13-game hitting streak end with an 0 for 5 effort. The hitless game was just the second for the shortstop in Arizona's last 27 games.
Kaiser (5-3) was tagged with his third loss of the season, giving up nine runs in the game, only four of which were earned. He struck out five and walked just one.
The two schools will play the rubber game of the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. Arizona's Joe Little will face Julio Fernandez on the mound.