The long ball has been Arizona’s best friend this weekend in Los Angeles, and on Saturday afternoon it led the Wildcats to a key Pac-12 victory.
The UA hit back-to-back home runs on two occasions, including in the top of ninth inning, to pace a 7-3 win at UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Ryan Holgate’s 2-run homer, his second of the season, have Arizona (13-5, 1-1 Pac-12) a 6-3 lead, then Jacob Blas followed with a solo shot. Blas’ 2-run blast was the Wildcats’ only scoring in Friday’s 3-2 loss to the Bruins.
Arizona got back-to-back solo homers in the second from Jacob Berry and Kobe Kato, and went ahead 3-0 on a Kato RBI double in the third. UCLA (11-6, 1-1) tied the game in the bottom of the seventh, only to see the UA go back in front in the eighth on an RBI single from Daniel Susac.
Freshman Riley Cooper earned the win despite facing only batter, but it was a big one. He struck out Daylen Hayes with the bases loaded to end the eighth, then Vince Vannelle threw the final two innings for his third save.
Arizona and UCLA play the rubber game of their 3-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. PT.