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No. 10 baseball takes first loss of season

By from staff and wire reports
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, February 21, 2005
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The No. 10 Arizona baseball team appeared to be headed to its third consecutive weekend sweep and subsequent rise in the national rankings.

That is, until it ran into Texas-Pan American right-hander Dane Mason.

Mason (1-3) shut down Arizona's potent offense, throwing eight scoreless innings, as the Broncos (3-9) took down the Wildcats 7-0 yesterday in Edinburg, Texas.

Arizona (9-1) still took two out of three in the series, winning 8-2 on Saturday and 18-3 Friday evening.

The offense went cold yesterday, failing to record ten hits for the first time all season. The game marked the first time all year the team had not scored at least seven runs.

And it's been over a year since the last time Arizona was shut out - Feb. 18, 2004, at Long Beach State, to be exact.

"We're disappointed with the loss," Arizona head coach Andy Lopez said in a press release. "But you have to give credit to their guy (Mason). He really pitched great, and we didn't play the game very well as a group. Still, any time you win two games, it's a good weekend. Not a great one, but still good."

The Arizona pitching staff also served up its worst outing of the season, giving up its highest run total of the year.

The Wildcats pulled freshman David Coulon after holding the Broncos scoreless over the first two innings. Coulon was put on 35-pitch limit so he can start Wednesday against ASU.

Freshman Mike Koons (0-1) proceeded to give up three runs in two-thirds of an inning to take the loss.

Senior Sean Rierson gave up his first runs of the season in his worst outing of the year. Rierson allowed four runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Arizona missed sophomore shortstop Jason Donald on Sunday. Donald, who had started 73 straight games, suffered a thumb injury sliding into second base in Saturday's win.

In one bright spot for the Wildcats, three players extended hitting streaks - junior outfielder Trevor Crowe (18 games), senior outfielder Jeff Van Houten (17 games) and junior first baseman Jordan Brown (10 games), all dating back to last year.

In the series' second game Saturday, junior pitcher Kevin Guyette (2-0) gave up no earned runs on three hits and tied a career high with nine strikeouts. Koons and sophomore closer Mark Melancon pitched hitless innings as Arizona gave up three hits in the contest.

Van Houten gave the Wildcats the lead for good in the top of the fifth with a three-run home run, putting Arizona up 4-2 after trailing 2-0 entering the inning. Van Houten ended the game 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs.

The Wildcats finished the game with double-digit hits for the ninth consecutive game.

On Friday, the Wildcats set season-highs in runs (18) and hits (20).

Crowe stole the show, hitting two home runs on a 3-5 night with six RBIs and three runs scored.

With the score knotted 2-2 after three innings, the Wildcats broke the game open with a six-run fourth, sending all nine starters to the plate. Freshman third baseman Bryan Kervin's RBI single put Arizona up for good, just before a home run by Crowe.

Kervin put together his best offensive performance of the season, going 3-for-6 with four RBIs and two runs scored.

Junior catcher Nick Hundley scored four runs in the contest, and junior second baseman Brad Boyer, junior outfielder Chris Frey, Donald and Brown all scored multiple runs.

The Wildcat offensive attack, and six innings of scoreless relief by junior Sean Jarrett (1-0), overcame a mediocre performance by junior ace John Meloan.

Jarrett allowed three hits and struck out a career-high ten batters.

Meloan struggled with his control, allowing five hits and five walks in three innings on a damp night in Texas, while throwing 88 pitches. He gave up three runs, one earned, and struck out six.

The Wildcats return to Sancet Stadium to open a 12-game homestand Wednesday at 4 p.m. against ASU.

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