Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Baseball Ends Losing Streak With Win Over UC Irvine
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 26, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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            TUCSON, Ariz. ?- Backed by strong pitching performances by Preston Guilmet and Mark Melancon and three-hit night by Bill Rhinehart, the Arizona baseball team snapped a season-high six-game losing streak with the 5-1 victory over UC Irvine at Jerry Kindall Field on Saturday.


The four-run win pulled the Wildcats’ overall record back to .500 at 11-11, while UCI (17-10) saw its season-high five-game win streak end with the loss.


            Guilmet (2-3), who surrendered just one unearned run on seven hits, held the UCI offense in check over 6 2/3 strong innings to pick up his first win on the mound since Feb 25. The right-hander got the starting nod in place of an ailing Eric Berger and finished with five strikeouts, while not issuing a walk.


            Melancon, who entered the game with the Wildcats leading 3-1, worked out a jam in the seventh by striking out Cody Cipriano with the tying runs on second and third. The right-hander proceeded to strike out the side in the eighth and work a 1-2-3 ninth for his third save of the year. He finished with five Ks, one walk and did not allow a hit.


            Offensively Rhinehart led a nine-hit night for Arizona, finishing 3 for 3 with his first home run of the season, three RBI and a pair of runs scored.


Trailing 1-0 after the first half inning, Rhinehart’s one-out single to left scored Stephen Pearson from second to tie the game. The left-hander then hit a solo homer to left in his next at-bat in the fourth to hand UA a 2-1 lead, and he added a run-scoring double in Arizona’s two-run eighth to cap off the perfect night at the plate.


Teammate Jason Donald chipped in with a pair of hits in three at-bats and added a RBI and a run scored in the winning effort. Catcher Konrad Schmidt added a fifth RBI for Arizona with a run-scoring sacrifice bunt in the eighth.


Irvine’s Justin Cassel (3-4) was charged with the loss after surrendering five runs, four earned, on nine hits in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked two.


Arizona and Irvine will wrap up the two-game series on Sunday at 12 p.m. Left-hander Brad Mills is the scheduled starter for Arizona.

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