March 16, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz.- The Arizona baseball team rode the hot bat of Brian Anderson early and held on late with the strength of his right arm, as the Wildcats defeated UNC Wilmington, 9-6, at Frank Sancet Field Saturday evening. The victory snapped Arizona's season-high four-game losing streak and improved its overall record to 18-8. The Seahawks dropped to 12-4 with the loss.
Anderson, who returned from a 15-game stint on the disabled list just last weekend, posted an impressive day the plate, going 2-for-2, with five RBIs and two runs scored on the evening. He collected a run scoring double in the first inning and hit Arizona's third grand slam of the season just one inning later. The slam was the second home run of the season for Anderson, who also finished the game with a pair of walks.
In addition to his offensive exploits, the righthander took the mound in the ninth inning to close out the Wildcat victory, earning his second save of the season in the process. He surrendered just one hit and struck out two in an inning of work.
The Wildcats jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead on Anderson's five RBIs in the first two innings and a Jeff Van Houten RBI single. Arizona added one more in the bottom of the fifth for a seven-run advantage.
Wilmington answered with four runs in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to 7-4 on Jason Schinlder's two RBI triple and a pair of RBI singles by Matt Wright and Eric Mitchell.
The Seahawks scored a pair of runs in the eighth to cut the lead to 8-6 on a wild pitch and an RBI ground out by Russ Simmerman.
Van Houten, who finished the game 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBIs, capped the scoring with a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth, his fifth homer of the season.
Arizona starter Joe Little (5-1) picked up his team-leading fifth win of the season with 5.1 innings of work. He gave up four runs on eight hits, while striking out six and walking only one. UNCW starter Jake Mullis (3-1) was saddled with his first loss of the season, giving up seven runs on six hits in four innings pitched.
Senior Brad Hassey extended his team season-high hitting streak to 11 straight games with a double down the left field line in the sixth inning.
Arizona and UNC Wilmington will play the rubber game of the three game set on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. The game can be heard live on the radio at 790 AM KNST or on the Internet at www.knst.com.