April 13, 2012
Arizona 4, UCLA 3 (Box Score)
TUCSON, Ariz. - Kurt Heyerthrew his second straight complete game and No. 4 Arizona scored an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat No. 17 UCLA before 4,080 fans at Hi Corbett Field on Friday night.
Arizona (24-9, 10-3 Pac-12) broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth. Joseph Maggi reached on a two-base throwing error by shortstop Pat Valaika with on out. Brandon Dixon was inserted as a pinch-runner and Joey Rickard delivered the eventual game-winning RBI with a single to right field. Dixon narrowly beat the throw at the plate with a nifty slide around catcher Tyler Heineman.
UCLA (22-8, 8-5 Pac-12) was unable to answer in the ninth despite a two-out single by pinch-hitter Chris Keck to right-center. However, right fielder Robert Refsnyder made a sliding, back-handed stop in the gap and fired to shortstop Alex Mejia covering second base to gun down Keck, who was trying to stretch the play into a double.
That brought a tightly contested game to a thrilling finish for Heyer and the Wildcats. The junior right-hander scattered eight hits in, walked two and struck out a pair. He improved to 6-1, lowered his ERA to 2.09 and collected his sixth-career complete game.
The Bruins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Cody Keefer hit a two-out double, Jeff Gelalich drew a walk and Trevor Brown singled in a run. Heyer then balked in a second run before escaping any further trouble.
The Wildcats quickly answered with two runs of their own in the home half of the frame. With runners on second and third and one out, Riley Moore hit a sacrifice fly and Maggi roped a double to the right field corner to tie the game 2-2.
An inning later, UA took a one-run lead. Johnny Field, who was the only Wildcat starter not to collect a hit, drew a leadoff walk. Two outs later, Seth Mejias-Brean extended the inning with a single to push Field to third. Bobby Brown then looped a single to center to drive in the go-ahead run.
The Bruins evened the game in the top of the sixth with an unearned run. With two down and runners on second a third, a passed ball charged to Moore allowed Beau Amaral to score and knot the game 3-3.
Adam Plutko pitched six-plus innings for the Bruins as he scattered 11 hits and two walks, but allowed just three runs. He did not factor into the decision. Reliever David (4-1) Berg, who pitched the final two innings, was charged with the loss after giving up the unearned run in the eighth.
Four Wildcats tallied two-hit games, including Rickard who extended his hitting streak to 14 games. Mejia, Refsnyder and Mejias-Brean also had two hits apiece.
The two teams will continue the three-game series on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.