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Arizona baseball recap: Wildcats hold on to beat Washington

Arizona scored runs early and often, but still needed to hold off a late rally by Washington to take the first game of the series.

Jason Bartel

The Arizona Wildcats jumped out to an early lead against the Washington Huskies on Friday night, but still had to hold off a late rally by Washington to secure the win.

Offense wasn't an issue for the Wildcats, who scored three runs in the first inning and never relinquished the lead. Riley Moore led the way, going 4-4 and driving in three runs. Kevin Newman and Tyler Krause each went 2-5 and drove in a run, but really, everyone contributed, as every Arizona batter either reached base or drove in a run.

Still, the game had drama thanks to a late push by Washington. Arizona's pitching wasn't the problem -- it wasn't perfect, but it was serviceable. Cody Hamlin went seven and a third innings and gave up five earned runs. The issue for Arizona, though, was defense. Jared Oliva dove for a fly ball in the fourth and missed, giving up a run. Worse, Kevin Newman dropped a grounder for a sure-fire double play that would've ended the eighth inning. He then compounded his mistake by trying to salvage the play at first and throwing it wide, allowing a run to score and opening the door to a three-run rally for Washington.

That three-run Washington eighth inning closed the lead to 8-6 and certainly made Arizona fans nervous, but Tyger Talley closed out the inning and pitched a perfect ninth to pick up the save and finish off the Huskies.

Arizona will look to clinch the series Saturday night at Hi Corbett. First pitch is set for 7 PM and the game will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.