Wildcats end skid against No. 8 Bruins

By Sam Spiller
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 15, 1996

The Arizona baseball team's losing streak is finally over.

The Wildcats (22-24 overall, 6-15 in the Pacific 10 Conference Southern Division) had their backs against a wall following a 4-3 loss on Friday night that stretched their losing streak to eight games, but it was a team effort that brought them victories yesterday and Saturday night against No. 8 UCLA (23-15 overall, 14-7 in the Six-Pac).

Despite a four-run comeback by the Bruins, the Wildcats held on yesterday to win 5-4 in 10 innings at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Los Angeles. Starting pitcher Tyler Haddix (2-2) held off UCLA until the sixth inning, when he allowed home runs by catcher Tim DeCinces and first baseman Pete Zamora that tied the game at four. Senior right-hander Matt Hendren relieved Haddix in the sixth inning and got the win in extra innings.

Saturday's 19-13 victory came in dramatic fashion with a nine-run explosion in the eighth inning which gave the Wildcats a formidable lead and eventually the win. The Arizona offense was sparked by freshman left fielder Omar Moraga. Moraga had five hits in seven at bats with four RBI and a triple. Right behind Moraga was second baseman John Powers, who was 4-for-5 with two RBI and a double. Other Wildcat standouts were center fielder Diego Rico (3-for-6 with two RBI), right fielder Jeff Gjerde (2-for-5 with four RBI), and catcher Tom King (3-for-6 with two RBI).

The winning pitcher was senior right-hander Ben White. White threw 5 2-3 innings in relief of starter Darrell Hussman (2-2) and middle reliever James Johnson. Despite allowing 11 hits and six earned runs, White kept the late-inning lead safe and allowed Arizona to coast to victory.

UA's losing streak began on March 29 against Stanford. Ironically, Arizona's problems began just after winning their first series against the Bruins at Sancet Field. They had lost 11 of 13 games.

Friday's game was highlighted by Shawn Barrington's complete game, which was the first of the season for Arizona. Barrington (1-6) allowed 10 hits and four earned runs with one walk and four strikeouts. The Bruins had strong pitching from starter Jim Parque (8-0). Parque pitched for eight innings allowing five hits and one earned run with one walk and eight strikeouts.