Tempe, Ariz. -- Angels pitchers Dan Haren and C.J. Wilson, teammates for the first time this season, have opposed each other twice as starters in the big leagues, in 2010 and 2011, but their history actually dates back to 2001, when they squared off in a memorable college game at Loyola Marymount University.
“We both threw seven or eight innings, we both hit home runs off each other, I ran over their catcher … it was my favorite game in college,” said Wilson, a former LMU star. “It was straight tenacity. I think I threw 150 pitches. It was ridiculous.”
Haren, who starred at Pepperdine, was a little more foggy on the details.
“I don’t remember as much as he does, to be honest,” he said. “I don’t know … who won that game? I’m assuming I won. I didn’t lose too many games in college.”
Haren was correct. Pepperdine won the April 12 game, 8-5. Haren allowed five runs — three earned — and 11 hits in 8 1/3 innings, striking out eight and walking one to get the win, and hit a two-run homer off Wilson in the third inning.
Wilson took the loss, allowing eight earned runs and 10 hits, walking eight and striking out one in 7 2/3 innings, but he went four for five at the plate, including a two-run homer off Haren in the first.
“His was a no-doubter,” Wilson said of Haren’s homer. “Mine barely made it over the wall.”
“We’ve reminisced about it a little bit,” Haren said.
It would be eight years before Haren hit against Wilson again, and that one didn’t go so well for Haren. In the ninth inning of a 6-6 game in Arizona on June 25, 2009, Haren, then with the Diamondbacks, pinch hit for reliever Chad Qualls. Wilson, the hard-throwing left-hander, was on in relief for the Texas Rangers.
Haren, attempting to advance a runner, struck out on three pitches, fouling off two bunts.
“He was throwing about 98 mph,” Haren said. “I was sitting on the bench for nine innings, eating chips and drinking soda, and they sent me out there to bunt off 98. I gave it three shots, but I just couldn’t do it.”