Information from the Arizona media relations department contributed to this report:
Arizona’s four home runs and resilient pitching performances led the Wildcats to a 7-3 victory over UCLA on Saturday afternoon.
Arizona (13-5, 1-1 Pac-12) evened the series against the Bruins (11-6, 1-1) with the third-game rubber match Sunday at 1 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Arizona is slated to start right-hander TJ Nichols (3-0, 4.29 ERA) against UCLA’s right-hander Nick Nastrini (2-1, 3.74).
The Wildcats belted two pairs of back-to-back home runs on Saturday, accounting for five of Arizona’s seven runs.
Jacob Berry and Kobe Kato gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead in the second inning.
With a one-run lead and Arizona in search of insurance runs in the top of the ninth, Ryan Holgate and Jacob Blas hit a pair of homers to give the Wildcats breathing room.
Starting pitcher Garrett Irvin worked 4 1/3 scoreless innings but did not factor into the decision. He allowed four hits and struck out five on 77 pitches. Freshman reliever Riley Cooper (1-0) earned his first collegiate win.
Veteran right-hander Vince Vannelle worked the final two innings for this third save. He allowed just one hit.
The Arizona pitching staff logged 10 strikeouts on Saturday, which is the 10th double-digit strikeout performance of the year. They are averaging 9.75 strikeouts per nine innings this year.
7-3 Cats! pic.twitter.com/GGy4Pk6Fk6
— Jay Johnson (@UACoachJ) March 21, 2021
Click here to access Saturday’s box score.
Arizona’s top batters:
- 2B Kobe Kato: 3-for-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBIs, BB
- RF Ryan Holgate: 1-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBIs, BB
- DH Jacob Berry: 2-for-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB
- SS Jacob Blas: 1-for-3, R, HR, RBI
- CF Donta’ Williams: 2-for-4, R, 2B, BB