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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona baseball loses two of three against UCLA in weekend series

Nathanial Stenchever

Arizona baseball’s sophomore Mac Bingham smiling with his team before game against Texas State on Friday, March 4, at Hi Corbett Field. The final score was a 7-2 win for the Wildcats.

The Arizona baseball team lost two of three games against UCLA this weekend at Hi Corbett Field. Here is how each game went down. 

Friday: UCLA wins 10-2

The Bruins got off to a fast start with 2 runs in the first inning off Arizona starter TJ Nichols. 

Nichols was able to settle in keeping UCLA off the board otherwise through five innings, but the Wildcat hitters didn’t have any luck off the opposing starter as UCLA pitcher Jake Brooks allowed 2 runs on seven hits over 6.2 innings to go along with three strikeouts and one walk. 

It was not a pretty performance in the infield for Arizona as four errors led to five unearned runs allowed being unearned. 

UCLA blew the game open with a 4-run ninth inning. 

Saturday: Arizona wins 4-2

The Wildcats got to UCLA starter Max Rajcic for 3 runs in the first inning, which was all Garrett Irvin needed on the mound. 

Irvin retired the first 14 Bruin hitters that he faced. He went on to allow one run on three hits across 7.2 innings to go along with six strikeouts and three walks. 

Arizona closer Holden Christian entered the ninth inning with a 4-1 lead. Two walks and a single later and the bases were loaded with nobody out. A sac fly was the first out of the inning but put runners on the corners with a 4-2 lead. After a strikeout led to the second out, a wild pitch put the tying runner in scoring position, but Christian was able to get the UCLA hitter to ground out to secure the save. 

RELATED: The waiting game pays off for Arizona outfielder Chase Davis 

Sunday: UCLA wins 7-3

It was a tough opening inning for Arizona starter Dawson Netz, walking one and hitting two batters in the first inning leading to 2 runs early for the Bruins. He was eventually able to settle in.

UCLA starter Thatcher Hurd entered the afternoon with an ERA under 1.00 on the season and he was lights out early on, retiring the first 13 Arizona hitters that he faced. Tommy Splaine broke up the perfect game with a single in the fifth inning when the Wildcats were able to see Hurd a little better. 

Arizona tied the game with 2 runs in the fifth inning, but that did not last long as Netz hit another batter followed by a home run in the sixth inning to put the Bruins back in front. 

That was it for Netz, allowing 4 runs on five hits over five innings to go along with three strikeouts and one walk. 

The Bruins added 3 more runs in the seventh and eighth innings combined off Arizona relievers Javyn Pimental and George Arias Jr. to take a 7-2 lead. 

Arizona loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom half of the eighth inning to try and cut into the deficit, but they only brought in one of those runs off a Daniel Susac double play.

“I told the team our goal is to win two out of three [in every series],” Arizona manager Chip Hale said. “If you can win two out of three and get to 20 wins [in conference play], you have a good chance to get to the postseason. We’re there because we banked a little credit against Stanford by getting the sweep.”

Arizona shortstop Nik McClaughry stated that the team doesn’t let one series loss overshadow what the team has been able to accomplish so far this season. 

“I feel like we have competed really well throughout the whole season,” McClaughry said. “I mean every team goes through rough patches during the season and I think it is how we bounce back from it.”

The Wildcats are back in action for one game at Grand Canyon University on Tuesday before heading to Seattle for a three-game weekend series against the University of Washington.

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