Feb. 23, 2003
TUCSON, Ariz.- The Arizona baseball team won its third series in four tries this season with a 7-2 win over Minnesota at Frank Sancet Field on Sunday. The Wildcats took the series 2 games to 1 and moved to 8-4 overall with the win, while Minnesota fell to 1-2 after the loss.
The Golden Gopher offense had multiple opportunities in the first three innings to jump out to a sizeable lead, but a solid pitching performance from starter Richie Gardner and some fine defensive play kept UM at bay.
With the score tied at 1-1 and UM's Luke Appert standing on second in the top of the third, catcher Jake Elder hit a double to centerfield off of Gardner that was fielded cleanly by UA's Brian Anderson. The junior outfielder hit classmate Moises Duran on the cut, who then relayed the ball to catcher Richard Mercado to nail Appert at home for the first out of the inning.
Despite the fine defensive effort, the Gophers threat continued in the inning as Scott Welch singled to center in the next at bat to place runners on the corners, before Gardner hit David Roach to load the bases. However, Arizona's junior right-hander regained control to strike out Gary Dick looking prior to inducing David Hrncirik to ground out to Duran for the final out of the inning.
All total, Minnesota stranded 11 runners on the base in the game, including eight in scoring position.
Offensively, Arizona utilized a pair of three inning scoring bursts to secure the series win, scoring single runs in the second through fourth innings and coming up with four runs in the sixth through eighth.
Junior Moises Duran led all players with a 3 for 3, 2-RBI day at the plate. He was also intentionally walked in the fifth. Sophomore Pat Reilly extended his hitting streak yet again to 17-straight games with a second inning infield single. The first baseman also hit a rocket to center in the sixth that Minnesota's Sam Steidl brought back over the fence to steal what would have been a two-run homer.
Gardner (3-0) won his team-leading third game of the season with a solid five innings of work. He surrendered just one run for the second straight start, while striking out four and walking one. Wes Zlotoff tossed three innings of one-hit ball in his first appearance of the season and Mark Worrell closed out the win with an inning of work in the ninth.
UM's Glen Perkins was tagged with the loss. The Gopher southpaw surrendered four runs, three earned, over five innings.
Arizona returns to action on Monday at 2 p.m. for a single game against Oklahoma State. UA's John Meloan will square off on the mound against OSU's Spencer Grogan.