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Arizona baseball: Three Up, Three Down: UCLA series

A potentially huge weekend for Wildcat baseball

Alfonso Rivas is hitting .423 through his first six Pac-12 games
Alfonso Rivas is hitting .423 through his first six Pac-12 games
Jason Bartel

Heading into the ninth inning of Saturday afternoon's game, it looked like the Arizona Wildcats were about to drop their second-straight series to start the Pac-12 season.

But that all changed thanks to a five-run rally, finished off with a Bobby Dalbec double down the left field line.

That was only Dalbec's second hit of the weekend, so he won't make Three Up this week, but he gets honorable mention for winning a series like that.

Here are the guys that really stood out in the big series win.

Three Up:

1. Alfonso Rivas

Rivas actually scored the game-winning run, as he, in the words of Jay Johnson, ran the fastest he ever had in his life. The freshman Rivas actually out Dalbec'd Dalbec this weekend. Rivas was 7-for-12, walked once, did not strikeout, drove in four runs, and scored thrice. He is now hitting .423 in his first six conference games.

But that wasn't all. On the mound, he tossed a total of an inning in the final two games. While he did get charged with two runs thanks to a one-pitch walk and an inherited runner scoring on a weak grounder through the right side, he struck out two guys with the bases loaded to at least minimize the damage in that inning.

2. JC Cloney

Arizona was in position to win the series because of the Junior College transfer's first complete game at Arizona on Thursday. Six hits and one walk over the nine innings turned into just one UCLA run. The most impressive part was that after the Bruins scored that lone run in the second inning, Cloney would not allow a runner past second base the rest of the game, or have multiple guys on base in the same inning either. It was the most dominant pitching performance Arizona has had this year.

3. Zach Gibbons

Gibbons came into this weekend with a pretty good batting average against UCLA, and he certainly kept that going. The senior outfielder was 2-for-4 in each of the three games, drove in two, and scored once. Not a bad option in the six or seven hole in the lineup. Gibbons has the best overall batting average on the team, as he's now sitting at .353, five points higher than Rivas.

Three Down:

1. Michael Flynn

Flynn was the first option out of the bullpen in the series finale, and he did not impress, giving up a hit, then going to a 3-0 count on the next batter before being replaced by Rivas. In nine innings this year, Flynn has given up 13 hits, walked five, and allowed eight earned runs.

2. Jared Oliva

A 1-for-9 weekend isn't great, especially when Arizona had 27 hits to go around. That lone hit did drive in two runs, but other than that, there wasn't any production from the nine-hole. He also stranded four guys on base on Saturday.

3. Louis Boyd

Boyd went 0-for-7 and stranded five guys in the first two games, then found himself being used as a pinch-runner in Saturday's dramatic ninth inning. Boyd's defense is a big reason to keep him in the lineup, but a miscue at short on Friday hurt Arizona as well. Both him and Justin Behnke are two defensive assets that are struggling at the plate, which is making it hard to keep them in the lineup.

Arizona returns to action on Tuesday evening as they host UC-Riverside for a two-game midweek series. Tuesday's game is scheduled to start at 6 PM, with Wednesday's beginning at 1 PM at Hi Corbett.