Arizona crushes Whataburger Classic field

March 10, 2008 5:48:12 PM PDT
There are many reasons why the Arizona Wildcats are the top-ranked team in the nation. They left at least 37 of them on the field this weekend to claim the unofficial title of tournament champion in the Third Annual Whataburger College Classic.Sunday afternoon, the Wildcats dominated all phases of the game, claiming their 10th straight victory with a 16-0 romp over Notre Dame. The Wildcats (10-1) scored a run in every inning.

Junior right-hander Ryan Perry (1-0) tossed a two hitter over seven innings of work. He faced four over the minimum, striking out seven without walking a batter. Eric Berger and Daniel Schlereth added two frames of shutout relief to seal the Wildcats' third shutout of the Classic.

The top four hitters in Arizona's lineup -- left fielder Diallo Fon, right fielder Jon Gaston, first baseman C.J. Ziegler and third baseman Dillon Baird -- combined for 11 of the Wildcats' season-high 20 hits. Fon, selected as tournament MVP, singled twice and scored three times against the Irish. For the weekend, Fon went 6-for-13 at the plate with two doubles, one home run, four runs and five RBIs.

Gaston and Ziegler both homered for the victors. Ziegler, a senior from Tucson, Ariz., has eight home runs and 19 RBI's after Arizona's first 11 games. The Wildcats have knocked one out of the park in every game this season and have 21 for the year.

Notre Dame fell to 5-6 with the loss. The Irish were held to three hits and on defense committed four errors, which led to four unearned runs.

In Sunday's finale, South Alabama (8-5) avoided a winless tournament by beating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4-2. Ryne Jernigan, the Jaguars' senior second baseman, put the men from Mobile ahead to stay with a two-run home run to the berm in left in the bottom of the first. That blast trumped Bryan Gerondale's solo homer for the Islanders in the top of the first.

Senior center fielder Ray Kruml provided insurance for the Jaguars with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Kruml added two bunt base hits and two steals and scored three of South Alabama's four runs.

Senior right-hander Eric Gonzalez (3-0) went the distance to get the win for the Jaguars. He scattered 10 hits, did not issue a walk and struck out eight.

Former Ray Texan Roy Ferdin (1-3) pitched well but suffered the loss for the Islanders. He was charged with four runs on seven hits in 7 2/3 innings.

Junior third baseman Martin Parra was 2-for-4 with a run and a stolen base to pace the Islander offense. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is now 3-9 on the season and will next be in action Wednesday 7pm at Whataburger Field hosting the nationally ranked Rice Owls.

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