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No. 6 baseball swept in Sacramento

By Staff and wire reports
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, April 25, 2005
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The Wildcats came to Sacramento playing their best baseball of the year after spending the last four weeks beating up on the Pacific 10 Conference.

They left with three head-scratching losses against inferior competition, at least on paper.

No. 6 Arizona (27-14, 10-2 Pac-10) lost a 4-3 heartbreaker in 11 innings to UC Irvine (20-16) Friday before getting swept in Saturday's doubleheader, 11-2 to Irvine in the opener and 7-4 to host Sacramento State in the second game at Hornet Field.

This marked the first time all season the Wildcats had not won at least one game in a weekend and the current three-game losing streak is the team's longest of the campaign.

Not much went right for Arizona from the start, as they could never get it going after a 35-minute rain delay.

The Wildcats recorded as many errors (five) as hits, and surrendered four unearned runs during the 11-2 blowout. With the second game of the doubleheader factored in, they allowed nine unearned runs out of 18 total runs scored by the opposition.

After throwing consecutive complete games, junior Kevin Guyette failed to get out of the fifth for the second straight start in this neutral-field game.

Guyette (6-4) allowed seven runs, four earned, on three hits in 4 1/3 innings.

The Anteaters jumped on top in the third with three unearned runs. Three errors in the inning, including consecutive miscues by juniors third baseman Brad Boyer and first baseman Jordan Brown, put Irvine in position to take a 3-0 lead.

The Anteaters broke the game open with a five-run fifth to take a commanding 8-0 lead. Two-run singles by third baseman Tim Wojcik and catcher R.J. Brown highlighted the inning.

Justin Cassel (5-2) held Arizona's potent offense at bay, keeping them scoreless on three hits over six innings.

While the Wildcats committed just two errors in their 7-4 loss in the second part of the doubleheader against Sacramento State (18-21-1), they led to five unearned runs.

Leading 3-2 in the fourth with one out, the floodgates opened for a five-run inning when sophomore shortstop Jason Donald mishandled a ball hit by left fielder Josh Levin.

After the next two runners reached base, right fielder Jim Strombach's sacrifice fly scored the first run instead of ending the inning.

Second baseman Taylor Watanbe singled home another run to end the day of David Coulon (2-2), who gave up six runs, just two earned, on six hits in 3 2/3 innings to take the loss.

First baseman Brian Blauser promptly welcomed senior Sean Rierson with a three-run home run that proved to be the winning margin.

Ethan Katz (5-6) earned the win holding the Wildcats to four runs in seven strong innings.

Arizona took a 3-0 lead in the second before the Hornets scored seven of the game's last eight runs.

Junior designated hitter Derek Decater's two-run home run, his first of the year, was followed by an RBI single by junior center fielder Chris Frey.

Frey (2-for-4) was the only Arizona hitter to record multiple hits, while everyone but Boyer put one hit on the board.

The Wildcats fell in extra innings for the first time this season in Friday's 4-3 11-inning loss.

Second baseman Cody Cipriano started a two-out rally in the top of the 11th by singling and advancing to second and third on consecutive wild pitches. Shortstop Brett Dalton followed and singled home the winning run off sophomore closer Mark Melancon (3-3).

Melancon gave up only that run and those two hits in four innings of sterling relief, but it was not enough.

Arizona went out in order in the 11th, making a winner out of Blair Erickson (1-2) who held the Wildcats scoreless for 2 1/3 innings.

Junior John Meloan turned in another quality outing, allowing three runs in seven innings before giving way to Melancon.

Chris Nicholl shut out Arizona before allowing three runs in the seventh to tie the score 3-3.

Boyer started the rally with a solo home run. After senior right fielder Jeff Van Houten singled, Brown drove him in with a triple. Two batters later, Frey hit a sacrifice fly to tie the score.

The Wildcats are now 0-4-1 against Irvine the past two regular seasons.

Arizona returns to conference play this weekend for a nationally televised series against No. 25 Southern California.

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