One swing by Oregon ends UA win streak

Ducks 1B denies Cats 16th in row with 3-run blast
2010-03-29T00:00:00Z 2014-09-15T09:03:26Z One swing by Oregon ends UA win streakRyan Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 29, 2010 12:00 am  • 

The Arizona Wildcats did nearly everything right for 15 games, eight innings, two outs and two strikes.

Then, as quickly as it came, their luck changed.

Oregon's Jack Marder ripped a three-run home run off closer Nick Cunningham with two strikes and two outs in the ninth inning Sunday to give the Ducks an improbable 9-8 win at Kindall/Sancet Stadium.

The late-inning heroics snapped Arizona's winning streak at 15 games.

Not that coach Andy Lopez was counting.

"Honest to God, I don't know how many it was - if you told me it was 13, 14, 15, I'd agree with you," he said. "I just like us to play good baseball. Up until that last inning, we played pretty good baseball."

The Wildcats led 4-1 and 8-3 before allowing the Ducks back into the game. Oregon (18-8 overall, 1-2 Pac-10) scored four runs in the ninth to steal the win.

Cunningham, pitching for his second save in as many days, got two quick outs in the ninth inning only to run into trouble.

Danny Pulfer, Eddie Rodriguez and pinch hitter Shawn Peterson all singled - the third hit bringing home a run and cutting Arizona's lead to 8-6.

With two outs and two on, the Ducks summoned Marder, a .211 hitter who was hitless in his three previous at-bats.

The first baseman fell behind in the count, then nailed the biggest hit of the Ducks' season. He hit Cunningham's 1-2 fastball over the right-field fence for an opposite-field home run.

Marder's shot was aided by a stiff wind blowing out to right field.

"I thought it was going to be an out. It was kind of slow motion for me," Cunningham said.

The freshman closer's first career blown save was frustrating, he said, "but it happens."

Lopez said he still had confidence in Cunningham's abilities. He was stellar before Sunday's game, going 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 17 games.

"If that's the worst that happens in his life, sign the contract," Lopez said. "Sign it in blood."

Cunningham probably shouldn't have pitched at all Sunday, but was forced into action because the Wildcats were short-staffed.

Reliever Cory Bernard missed the weekend series to attend a funeral in California, leaving the Wildcats with just two pitchers - Cunningham and Tyler Hale - capable of finishing.

"It's like a lotto ticket," Lopez said. "Today, I lost the lotto ticket."

At 20-5 overall and 2-1 in Pac-10 play, Arizona has reason to like its odds heading into its first road trip of the season.

The Wildcats will travel to Cal for a three-game series that starts Thursday, then take on Washington and Gonzaga as part of their Pacific Northwest swing.

Their goals will be the same - streak or no streak.

"I told them, 'You put a good run together. Take a day off tomorrow, get back at it on Tuesday, and let's put another one together," Lopez said.

OREGON 9, ARIZONA 8

Oregon ab r h bi Arizona ab r h bi

Serna ss 3 1 2 1 Rickard cf 5 1 2 1

Gavin 3b 2 1 1 0 Valenzuela 1b 3 1 0 1

Piazzisi lf 3 0 0 0 Meskin c 0 0 0 0

Pulfer 2b/ss 4 1 2 1 Bandy c/1b 5 1 3 2

Rodriguez dh 5 1 2 1 Selsky rf 4 2 2 3

Packard rf 2 0 1 0 Refsnyder lf 5 0 1 0

Hart ph/cf 0 1 0 0 Brown dh 3 0 1 0

Peterson ph 1 0 1 1 Rinard ph 2 0 0 0

Mendenhall pr/rf 0 1 0 0 Mjs-Brn 3b 4 1 3 1

Marder 1b 4 2 3 3 Mejia ss 4 1 1 0

Karraker c 4 0 1 0 Chavez 2b 2 1 0 0

Altobelli 3b/2b 4 0 0 1

Raulinaitis cf/rf 4 1 1 0

Totals 36 9 14 8 Totals 37 8 13 8

Oregon 110 010 114 - 9

Arizona 401 003 000 - 8

E: Karraker (3). DP: Arizona 3. LOB: Oregon 7, Arizona 7. 2B: Selsky. 3B: Raulinaitis. HR: Marder (3), Selsky (3). SB: Hart (6), Marder (4), Rickard (12). SF: Valenzuela. CS: Serna.

Oregon IP H R ER BB SO

Keudell 5 11 8 8 2 7

Boer 2/3 2 0 0 1 0

Jones W, 1-1 2 1/3 0 0 0 0 2

McGough S, 2 1 0 0 0 0 2

Arizona

Simon 7 10 4 4 4 1

Forestieri 0 0 1 1 1 0

Manthei 2/3 0 0 0 1 1

Bill 1/3 0 0 0 0 0

Cunningham L, 2-1 1 4 4 4 0 1

WP: Keudell. PB: Karraker. Time: 3:18. Att: 1,088.

Up next

• What: Arizona at California

• When: 2:30 p.m., Thursday

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