EDINBURG, Texas ?- UT-Pan American right-hander Dane Mason held the potent Arizona offense in check over eight solid innings as the No. 10-ranked Wildcats fell for the first time this season, 7-0, at Edinburg Stadium on Sunday. The shut out loss snapped UA’s season-opening nine-game winning streak and dropped the Wildcats to 9-1 for the year. UTPA improved to 3-9 with the victory.
Mason (1-0) scattered eight hits, struck out six and walked only three batters over eight plus. He twice worked out of bases-loaded jams and stranded a total of nine UA runners on base for his first victory of the year. Reliever Tim Haines got the final three outs in the ninth inning to preserve the victory for the Broncs.
“We’re disappointed with the loss,” head coach Andy Lopez said. “But you have to give credit to their guy (Mason). He really pitched great and we didn’t play the game very well as a group. Still any time you win two games it’s a good weekend. Not a great one, but still good.”
Led by Matt Eichel’s four-RBI day at the plate, UTPA scored three runs in the third, two in the fourth and two more in the sixth with timely two-out hitting and a season-high seven walks issued by the normally accurate Arizona pitching staff. The top four hitters in the UTPA order combined to go 8 for 17 with six runs scored and three RBI.
UA’s Mike Koons (0-1) was charged with the loss after giving up three runs on two hits in just a third of an inning.
Arizona will return home to Tucson on Monday, practice on Tuesday and meet up for a second non-conference game against in-state rival Arizona State on Wednesday. First pitch against the Sun Devils is set for 4 p.m. MST.
Sophomore Jason Donald missed the first game in his Arizona career with a thumb injury suffered while sliding into second in Saturday’s 8-2 win. His absence from the lineup ended a string of 73 straight starts for the shortstop ... Freshman starter David Coulon was held to a 35-pitch limit against the Broncs on Sunday. He is scheduled to start Wednesday’s non-conference game against Arizona State in Tucson ... UTPA’s shut out victory over the Wildcats was the first ever win for the Broncs in seven all-time meetings ... Prior to Sunday, Arizona was last shut out at Long Beach State on Feb. 18, 2004 ... Trevor Crowe (18 games) and Jeff Van Houten (17 games) and Jordan Brown (10 games) extended their hitting streaks in Sunday’s loss.