March 15, 2008
Tucson, Arizona - Daniel Butler's two-out, two-run double gave the Wildcats the go-ahead in the second inning as No. 1 Arizona held on to defeat No. 20 Cal State Fullerton, 6-2, in a non-conference baseball game at Kindall Field Saturday night. The Wildcats extend their winning streak to 12 games and improve to 12-1. Fullerton drops its third in a row and fall to 8-7.
Butler's double capped a three-run second for Arizona off Titan starter Daniel Renken, making the first weekend start of his career. Renken (3-1), the reigning Big West Pitcher of the Week, finished by going seven innings surrendering six runs (five earned) on eight hits and suffered his first loss of the season.
David Coulon, last week's Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week, improved to 4-0 for the first time in his career going 5 1/3 innings while surrendering just three Titan hits. The Titans scored both of their runs off Coulon without recording a hit. A bases-loaded fielder's choice hit by Khris Davis brought home the Titans' first run in the opening frame, while back-to-back two-out errors by the Wildcat defense scored Shevis Shima in the third.
Arizona added to their 3-2 lead in the fourth inning, with an unearned run. TJ Steele reached on a throwing error by shortstop Christian Colon and proceeded to steal second and advanced to third on a balk to set up an RBI situation for Mike Weldon. Weldon sent a Renken offering down the spacious right field line for a triple (the first of two for him on the night), easily scoring Steele from third.
Steele added a solo homer in the sixth to extend the lead to 5-3 and was followed by Weldon's second triple. Rafael Valenzuela promptly singled and drove home the sixth and final Wildcat run.
Reliever Daniel Schlereth was a dominant force out of the Arizona pen, striking out seven of the 10 Titans he faced over three innings of work to pick up his first save of the year.
Offensive leaders on the night were Arizona's Weldon, who picked up three hits on the night, all three were for extra bases, while Fullerton's Joel Weeks collected a pair of hits in the loss.
Fullerton and Arizona will conclude the series on Sunday as Cory Arbiso (1-2, 4.97 ERA) will go for the Titans while the Wildcats will trot out Ryan Perry (1-0, 4.00 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for noon.