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Luke Persico (Photo by Don Liebig)
UCLA Baseball Edged by Arizona, 3-2
By: UCLA Athletics

The UCLA Baseball team dropped the second game of its series with Arizona on Saturday night, falling to the Wildcats by a score of 3-2 at Hi Corbett Field.

Cody Hamlin earned the win for the Wildcats to move to 5-2 on the year. Hamlin threw a complete game, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out three. Junior Grant Watson dropped to 4-4 with the loss, scattering eight hits over seven innings while allowing three runs and striking out six.

The Bruins grabbed the early lead in the top of the second with a run off of Hamlin. Senior Kevin Williams led off the frame with a walk before moving up to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Luke Persico. The next batter was junior Chris Keck, who looped a 1-2 pitch into left field for a single, scoring Williams and giving UCLA the lead.

Arizona came back in the bottom half of the inning though, scoring three to take a 3-1 lead. With two outs and runners on first and second, Riley Moore hit a one-hopper to first that took a tough bounce and got by senior Pat Gallagher down the right field line. Both runners scored on the play and Moore ended up at second with a double to give the Wildcats the lead. Zach Gibbons then singled in Moore on the next at-bat to make the score 3-1 in Arizona’s favor.

The pitching took over from there as both Hamlin and Watson held the opposing team scoreless for the next four innings. UCLA then cut into Arizona’s lead in the top of the seventh when with two outs and Persico on second, sophomore Trent Chatterton hit a chopper to second base. The ball skipped off of Arizona second baseman Trent Gilbert’s glove and into center field, allowing Persico to come home and cutting the deficit to one.

Watson came back out for the seventh and did his job, holding the Wildcats scoreless. The Bruins then threatened in the eighth as junior Shane Zeile and sophomore Ty Moore hit back-to-back singles with two outs. However, Williams fouled out to shortstop in the next at-bat and the threat was ended. UCLA went down in order in the top of the ninth and Arizona went on to claim the 3-2 win.

Overall, Zeile led the Bruins at the plate with a 2-4 game while Persico and Keck added a run and a RBI respectively.

UCLA (19-14, 7-4 Pac-12) and Arizona (16-20, 5-9 Pac-12) will finish up their series tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. at Hi Corbett Field. The game will be nationally televised live by the Pac-12 Networks.

Game Notes: Shane Zeile recorded his third straight multi-hit game and the fourth in his last six games overall…in three games this week Zeile is batting .429 with three runs scored and a .467 on-base percentage…Grant Watson has now thrown at least six innings in seven of his nine starts this season…Watson allowed just three hits past the second inning tonight…the loss snapped UCLA’s six-game regular season win streak over Arizona…the Bruins have now laid down a successful sacrifice bunt in 12 of their last 13 games, bringing their season total to 49 sacrifice bunts.

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