The Arizona Wildcats returned to their winning ways on Saturday vs. UCLA with a 3-2 victory. Cody Hamlin went all nine innings, allowing just five hits and one earned run on the night.
"What an outstanding performance," head coach Andy Lopez said after the game. "We needed it badly."
Hamlin, who threw 111 pitches on the night, was pounding the strike zone all night.
"It's just how I come out every game," Hamlin said. "I'm just trying to be better than the other team."
This team has needed a Saturday guy like Hamlin, and that's not lost on anyone.
"It's great," said catcher Riley Moore. "Catching him makes catching fun. It makes me like to catch."
Arizona scored its three runs in the second inning, thanks to a two-run double by Moore down the right field line followed by a Zach Gibbons single. Moore finished the night with a season-high three hits and a run scored with those two RBI.
"It always feels good no matter what kind of year it's been to get three hits," Moore continued. "I'm not saying it's going to be the start of something, but hopefully getting my swing down and we're going in the right direction."
UCLA threatened in the seventh inning while trailing 3-1. With two out, Trent Chatterton bounced one to Trent Gilbert, and the ball ricocheted off his glove into the outfield, letting the second run score.
On what was going through his head, Hamlin said he just had "to buckle up and kinda do it myself but I know the team's behind me and pitch to contact to give them another try."
He did just that by forcing a flyout to center from Pat Gallagher to end the inning and keep Arizona in front by a run.
UCLA threatened again in the 8th, putting together back-to-back singles with two outs. But Hamlin got out of it again with a pop up into foul territory caught by Kevin Newman.
This win puts Arizona in a position to win a second-straight conference series on Sunday afternoon when Tyger Talley takes the mound. Sunday's game gets underway at 4 PM, and will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.