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Arizona Stuns Long Beach, 6-5

June 12, 2004|Paul McLeod | From Times Staff and Wire Reports

It figured that the NCAA baseball super regional at Blair Field would boil down to pitching.

That certainly was the case Friday night as Arizona erased a three-run deficit with four runs in the top of the ninth inning to stun heavily favored Long Beach State, 6-5, in the opener of their best-of-three series.

Arizona leadoff man Trevor Crowe delivered the big blow, a triple to deep center field that scored Brad Boyer, who had tied the score with a two-run single. All of those runs came off 49er reliever Neil Jamison.

Long Beach State pitcher Jered Weaver struck out 12 and gave up five hits in 7 2/3 innings. He left with a 5-2 lead, but his bullpen couldn't hold it.

After Long Beach (39-20) peppered Wildcat pitcher Koley Kolberg for nine hits, a run in the second inning and four more in the fourth, it was Arizona's turn to do the same to the 49er bullpen with an array of singles.

Long Beach got a runner to third base with two out in the bottom of the ninth, but Mark Melancon struck out John Bowker as Arizona (34-24-1) moved within one victory of the College World Series.

The teams play again today at 4 p.m. If Long Beach wins, they play Sunday.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Long Beach designated hitter Jason Vargas followed a ground-rule double by Troy Tulowitzki with a base hit to left field that sent Tulowitzki to third.

Sean Boatright singled to right, driving in Tulowitzki, and Vargas stopped at second. After Mike Hofius lined out to third, Davis loaded the bases by bouncing a single over the head of third baseman Moises Duran.

Kolberg struck out Chuck Sindlinger, but Long Beach got another run when Arizona shortstop Jason Donald and second baseman John Hardy collided while attempting to field a ground ball up the middle by Long Beach leadoff man Josh Buhagiar, allowing Davis to score.

Danny Mocny followed with a base hit past the diving Hardy into right field that drove in two more runs.

Paul McLeod


In other super regionals:

Georgia 7, Georgia Tech 5 -- Bobby Felmy hit a three-run homer and reliever Johnny Dobbs escaped a bases-loaded jam to lead the Bulldogs (42-21) over the Yellow Jackets (44-20) at Atlanta.

Marshall Szabo went two for five and had a two-run single.

Mike Nickeas had three hits -- including a home run -- and Eric Patterson also homered for Georgia Tech (44-20), which lost for only the third time in 26 games.

Arkansas 7, Florida State 5 -- Scott Hode went four for five and the Razorback bullpen held the Seminoles to three hits in the last four innings at Fayetteville, Ark.

Arkansas (44-22) put together a three-run fifth inning.

Florida State (45-22) had 14 hits, but 11 were singles.

Texas 15, Vanderbilt 3 -- J.P. Howell struck out 13 in seven innings and Michael Hollimon homered and drove in three runs to lead the Longhorns (54-13) at Austin, Texas.

Texas had 16 hits.

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