TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The UC Riverside baseball team persevered despite surrendering a 7-0 lead in its 12-8 victory over ninth-ranked Arizona at Kindall Field on Friday. The loss, Arizona first at home in nine games this season, dropped the Wildcats to 10-2 overall, while UCR improved to 6-6 with the win.
The Highlanders jumped out to a 7-0 lead through the first five innings and chased UA starter John Meloan after just four innings of work.
The Wildcats countered with four runs in the bottom of the fifth and added four more in the sixth, taking a one-run lead at 8-7 on Jordan Brown’s team-leading fifth homer of the year, a two-run shot to right center.
The Arizona bullpen couldn’t hold the lead however, as UCR struck back with three runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth for a four-run margin of victory.
UA’s Sean Jarrett (1-1) was charged with the loss after surrendering the go-ahead run in the seventh. He gave up two runs on two hits in just a third of an inning of work.
UCR’s Pat Cassa, a transfer from Arizona State, bounced back after giving up the two-out homer to Brown in the sixth to shut out the Wildcats over the final three innings and pick up the win. Cassa (1-2) struck out two and walked none in 3 1/3 innings.
UA’s Meloan struggled in his second straight start, giving up seven runs on nine hits. He struck out four and walked two in the no-decision effort.
The Highlander offense rapped out 15 hits, including two doubles, a triple and a home run, off of five Arizona pitchers. Led by a 3 for 6-night by Nick Solotti, eight of the nine UCR starters finished with at least one hit in the game and eight different players scored at least one run.
The loss wasted an outstanding offensive effort by Brown, who finished the game 4 for 5 with the home run, two RBI and two runs scored. Freshman Brett Scyphers, starting for the injured Bryan Kervin, went 2 for 4 with two runs scored in the game.
Arizona will attempt to bounce back from the loss on Saturday at 1 p.m. Kevin Guyette will take the mound as the starter for the Wildcats.
The 15 hits and 12 runs given up by the Arizona pitching staff were the most for an opponent this season ... The loss snapped a modest four-game winning streak UA held over UCR ... The Arizona bullpen allowed four of the seven runners it inherited to come around and score ... Juniors Trevor Crowe (20 straight) and Jordan Brown (12 straight) and senior Jeff Van Houten (19 straight) all extended their hitting streaks in the loss ... Infielder Bryan Kervin suffered a broken hand in Arizona’s 11-5 win over Arizona State on Wednesday and could miss up to five weeks.