Arizona Baseball

Mason White’s 12th-inning home run gives Arizona baseball walk-off sweep over UCLA

Arizona baseball prior to Saturday’s 10-9 walk-off sweep of UCLA (Arizona Athletics photo)

Arizona baseball headed into Saturday looking for its first Pac-12 sweep of the year and its first sweep of UCLA since 2018 after back-to-back walk-off wins on Thursday and Friday.

It took 12 innings and a Mason White home run, to complete the quest with a 10-9 walk-off win over the Bruins.

“It feels great. They are always a quality club”. Arizona coach Chip Hale said on the series sweep.

White’s game-winning home run is his 10th of the season and the most in a season by an Arizona shortstop since at least 1998.

Headed to the eighth inning, holding an 8-2 lead, the Wildcats (13-13, 7-5 Pac-12) looked to have the game and sweep secured, but UCLA (10-15, 4-8) wasn’t going away without a fight.

With bases loaded for the Bruins, Cashel Dugger hit a slow rolling ground ball toward second base. What looked like a sure double play took a bad hop hitting Garen Caulfield in the face bringing in two runs.

“The longer the game goes on here, with the high winds, you can’t keep the infield, you can’t keep it damp so the ball’s going to be bouncing crazy.” Hale said.

UCLA scored three more runs before Arizona pitcher Casey Hintz, who came in to replace Matthew Martinez, struck out Roch Cholowsky.

The Bruins added the tying run in the 9th-inning off of a Dugger single.

The Bruins came close to taking the lead when Malakhi Knight doubled to left center but TJ Adams fielded the ball, threw it to White who threw a perfect bullet to catcher Blake McDonald for the out at the plate.

In the 12th inning, UCLA took the lead after Vaughns hit a triple off of Eric Orloff and Quintt Landis singled bringing in Vaughns.

In the bottom of the 12th, UCLA closer Rashad Ruff walked McDonald, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Rogers.

Que White’s two run walk-off home run.  

“He struck me out two innings before, so I knew his stuff,” White said about facing Ruff. “I was prepared.”

In the UCLA series, the Arizona players seemed less tight at the plate.

“We are trying to get aggressive, we are trying to go at it. We got some hits today that weren’t obviously scorched. But that’s what happens when you actually put the ball in play.” Hale said.

Arizona had seven players that accounted for runs — White with three, McDonald with two. Richie Morales, Brendan Summerhill, Emilio Corona, Tommy Splaine and Adams all had one.

At the beginning of extra innings, the play-by-play person on the Pac-12 Network was absent. The only sound those watching could hear was the background noise of the crowd. No call on the game winning walk-off home run by White. This was due to the announcer leaving at the end of the ninth inning to catch a flight.

Arizona will play New Mexico at Hi Corbett on Tuesday at 6 p.m. before going on the road to Cal in a three-game series starting Friday.

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