By Craig Degel
Arizona Daily Wildcat
It was quite possible that the Arizona baseball team used the Bruce Springsteen classic "Born to Run" as inspiration before its 13-5 win over Grand Canyon University at Sancet Field last night.
The Wildcats ran at will on Antelope catcher Craig Caballero, stealing seven bases on eight attempts.
"We knew right from the start that we would have to be aggressive with the hit and run and the base running and the guys are doing really well," UA coach Jerry Kindall said.
Arizona (20-30-1) started it's offensive onslaught early when Jake Thrower singled in the first and later scored on a fielder's choice. Diego Rico also smacked an RBI single in the first, scoring Scott Kidd, who walked and stole second.
Kidd paced the Wildcats at the plate. He went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI, two walks, and two stolen bases. He was also caught stealing once.
"He's really had a good run at it in the second half of the season," said Kindall of Kidd.
The Antelopes tied the ballgame at four with a four-run third inning, highlighted by David Webb's two-run infield single. Kidd fielded the hit but his throw was not in time, and Jeff Gjerde's attempt to throw out Caballero at home was dropped by Arizona catcher Chris Cooper.
The tie was short lived, however, as the Wildcats put the game out of reach with a seven-run fourth. The Wildcats took advantage of two stolen bases in the inning Ä one each by Menno Wickey and Kidd Ä to produce their runs. Wickey scored when Caballero threw the ball into centerfield while attempting to throw out Jake Thrower. Kidd later scored on Jeff Gjerde's RBI single.
Arizona also recieved a solid pitching performance from starter Jason Ford. Ford pitched six innings, scattered seven hits, and allowed four runs, all of those runs coming in the Antelope half of the third inning.
Ford, who was making his third start since transferring from North Idaho Junior College, improved to 2-0 for the season.
"I didn't really have my best stuff," Ford said. "But I probably won't get any more starts unless somebody really gets screwed up in the rotation."
Ford, who was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 1993, is just a junior and figures to be in position to earn a spot in next season's starting rotation.
"He's got good stuff," Kindall said. "He's got a good chance if he can throw strikes."
Rob Price (0-1), the first of five Grand Canyon pitchers, took the loss for the Antelopes who fell to 18-35.
The Wildcats will travel to Palo Alto, Calif., this weekend for a three-game Pacific 10 Conference Southern Division series with Stanford. The Wildcats will send Zach Pringle, Kirt Kishita and Matt Hendren to the mound against the second place Cardinal. Friday's first pitch has been moved up to 2:30 p.m., with the Saturday and Sunday games both starting at 1 p.m. All three games will be broadcast on the radio live on 790 KNST-AM.
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