Arizona Baseball

Arizona goes for sweep over UCLA after back-to-back walk-off wins at Hi Corbett

Arizona baseball ready to take on the Bruins in game two of their series (Arizona Athletics Photo)

As the Arizona Wildcats play their last season in the Pac-12, the ending to the games Thursday and Friday night against the UCLA Bruins held all the anticipation the matchup deserved.

Both games ended in walk-off victories.

On Friday, with bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth, Emilio Corona hit a sacrifice fly ball deep to center field bringing Brendan Summerhill home for the series-clinching 3-2 victory.


1 p.m., Hi Corbett Field

Arizona starting pitcher: RHP Cam Walty (4-1, 3.41 ERA)

UCLA starting pitcher: TBA

Radio: 1290-AM

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Summerhill, the hero of Thursday night’s walk-off win with his fourth home run of the season in the 10th inning, fittingly scored the game-ending run on Friday.

“The job at the plate at that time was to just get the runner in, and I knew that I had to hit a fly ball deep enough to score him and I got the pitch to do it,” said Corona about his walk-off sacrifice fly ball.

“I think we’re learning that we don’t have to score six runs every inning, we don’t have to press for home runs. Just play ball and get the runs when we can and just play the game the right way and execute.”

Friday’s win was Arizona’s 3,000th as a program, becoming the 10th school in NCAA history to meet that milestone.

“We’ve struggled in one-run games. Up until this weekend we’ve had a hard time. Instead of an attitude of not playing to not lose, it’s an attitude of playing to win. And we’re starting to turn that over,” said Arizona coach Chip Hale.

Even though the temperature at Hi Corbett on Friday night was in the low 70s, the pitching from senior right-hander Clark Candiotti raised the heat index for Arizona.

Candiotti (four hits allowed, one earned run and 12 strikeouts) threw a complete-game.

He is the first Arizona pitcher to do so since Garrett Irvin in the 2021 NCAA Tucson Regional against UCSB. His 12-strikeouts were a career high and the first 12-strikeout showing since Michael Flynn in 2018 against UCLA.

““Everything felt very good from the beginning,” said Candiotti, son of former big-leaguer and current Arizona Diamondbacks broadcaster Tom Candiotti.

 “Even though things got a little hairy in the ninth, it’s still pitch after pitch knowing I could pitch the way I normally do and just give my team a chance. I had full confidence in my team because we are really, really good at staying together and playing the game until it’s finished.”

A pair of hits from UCLA freshman DH Roman Martin allowed UCLA to erase a 2-0 deficit in the eighth and ninth innings.

The second inning was a strange one.

Candiotti was called for a pitch-clock violation and a balk. UCLA pitcher Michael Barnett was also called for a balk in the same inning.

Arizona (12-13, 6-5 Pac-12) got on the board first when Corona hit a lead-off triple, then Richie Morales grounded out, bringing Corona in, giving Arizona the 1-0 lead over the Bruins (10-14, 4-7).

The Wildcats went ahead 2-0 in the fifth inning when Corona singled to left field. He advanced to second on a steal and took third on a throwing error by the Bruins’ catcher. Morales grounded out to first, bringing Corona in.

Friday’s win was the ninth consecutive game in which Arizona held its conference opponent to four or fewer runs, the longest such streak since 1982.

Arizona will go for the sweep against the Bruins Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Hi Corbett.

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