Feb. 3, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz.- The Arizona baseball team's late rally came up just short as Utah tripped up the Wildcats, 7-5, in 10 innings at Sancet Field, Sunday afternoon. The loss is the first of the season for the Wildcats (5-1) and snaps an eight game winning streak that carried over from the 2001 season.
The Utes (2-4) jumped out to a quick lead on first baseman Nate Weese's two-run homer in the top of the first inning off of Arizona starter Marc Kaiser.
Utah posted three more in the top of the second on an two-RBI double by catcher Jared Synder and a run scoring ground out off the bat of Adam Castleton.
Arizona threatened to tie the score in the eighth when Clarence Farmer, who came on as pinch runner for the walked Chris Cunningham, stole second to move into scoring position with one out. The threat ended there as Arizona could only muster a pair of harmless fly balls to center field to end the inning.
Down, but not out, Arizona manufactured the tying run in the bottom of the ninth off of a leadoff walk by freshman Will Thompson. Pinch runner Chris Marini advanced to second on John Hardy's sacrifice bunt and came around to tie the score on Brad Hassey's single through the left side of the infield.
In the 10th, Arizona reliever Tony Sulser (0-1) dug himself into a hole and nearly escaped. After issuing a leadoff walk to Brett Baldwin, Sulser rushed his throw to first on pinch hitter Donald Hawes' sacrifice bunt attempt. The throw missed its mark for a two base error, placing runners on second and third and no outs.
After an intentional walk to Castleton to load the bases, Sulser got Donnie Saba to hit into a fielders choice ground ball that allowed Hassey to gun down Baldwin at the plate on the force. Sulser then struck out Weese for the second out of the inning, but saw his good fortune turn bad as clean up hitter Britt Pannier plated two on the next pitch with a single for a 7-5 Utah lead.
Utah reliever Mitch Maio picked up the win with three innings of work, while Sulser was saddled with the loss.
The defeat was the first for Arizona under new head coach Andy Lopez, however the Wildcats will have little time to lick their wounds as they return to action on Monday when Southern Utah comes to town for a two game series at Sancet Field. Game time tomorrow is 1 p.m. Chris Goodman will take the mound in his first start of the season for the Wildcats.