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Matt Fraizer’s clutch homer propels Arizona baseball past Utah Valley

The Wildcats scored five runs in the eighth to avoid a costly loss

Jason Bartel

Matt Fraizer hit a clutch three-run homer in the eighth, as Arizona rallied to beat Utah Valley 7-6, avoiding a costly upset in Provo.

Arizona trailed 5-2 heading into the inning, and began the frame with four straight hits, including an RBI double by Ryan Haug and an RBI single by Tate Tate Soderstrom to make it a one-run game.

Then Fraizer, the fifth batter of the inning, launched his first career homer to put Arizona ahead 7-5, its first lead of the game.

Utah Valley scored on an RBI groundout in the ninth, before Avery Weems, who pitched the final two innings for his first save, recorded the final out.

The Wildcats improve to 25-17 overall and remain 7-11 in the Pac-12.

Utah Valley scored five runs in the third and held that lead until the sixth when Haug hit a sacrifice fly. Alfonso Rivas added another sacrifice fly to make it 5-2 in the fourth.

Arizona’s bullpen stepped up. Zach Stone, Josh Haley, and Weems combined to throw 6 23 innings of two-run ball after starter Tylor Megill surrendered four runs (three earned) in just 2 13 innings.

Stone’s performance was the best among all UA pitchers, tossing three scoreless innings, while striking out four.

The victory is an RPI-saver for the Wildcats, who are on the bubble for a postseason berth. Arizona’s RPI was 60 entering the night, and it jumped to 59 after the game. Utah Valley’s RPI was 245, so a loss to them would have been devastating.

The Wolverines are just 14-28 this season.

Arizona will now get set to host No. 7 UCLA for a three-game series, starting Thursday. The Bruins are tied with Stanford in first place in the Pac-12.