Fourth-ranked Arizona fell behind 5-0 in the first inning and was never able to make up the deficit as No. 17 UCLA cruised to a 15-3 victory on Saturday night.
April 14, 2012
UCLA 15, Arizona 3 (Box Score)
TUCSON, Ariz. - The fourth-ranked Arizona baseball team fell to No. 17 UCLA, 15-3, on a chilly Saturday night at Hi Corbett Field as the visiting Bruins outplayed the host Wildcats in all phases of the games from the opening inning to the final frame.
Before the Wildcats even sent a batter to the plate, they had given up five first-inning runs to the Bruins. Starter Konner Wade struggled with his command and surrendered four hits and a walk, and the UA defense committed three errors.
Arizona (24-10, 10-4 Pac-12) never seriously threatened to rally thereafter, though the deficit was trimmed to 5-2 after three innings. UCLA (23-8, 9-5 Pac-12) responded by scoring one run in the fourth, four in the fifth and two more in the sixth to effectively put the game away.
The Bruins went on to score 15 runs on 20 base hits - both season highs allowed by the Wildcats. The top three hitters in the UCLA lineup combined to hit 11-for-16 in the game, with seven runs scored and five RBI. Defensively, Arizona committed five errors, which also matched a season high.
Wade (4-1) suffered his first career loss after lasting just three-plus innings. Vincent Littleman threw the next 4.2 innings and surrendered nine runs - six earned - on nine hits. He struck out three and walked one.
The lone bright spot for the Wildcat pitching staff was the season debut of left-hander Augey Bill. The junior threw the final 1.1 innings without allowing run. He struck out one and gave up one hit.
UCLA starter Nick Vander Tuig (4-2) earned the win. The right-hander scattered eight hits and allowed three runs in 5.2 innings. David Berg and Zack Ortiz threw the final 3.1 innings to close the game.
Johnny Field, Alex Mejia and Bobby Brown each had two hits for the Wildcats, who collected 10 as a team to reach double digits for the 25th time in 34 games on the season. Joey Rickard saw a 14-game hitting streak snapped, though his ninth-inning walk extended his reached-base streak to 29-consecutive games.
The rubber match of the three-game series is set for Sunday at noon at Hi Corbett Field. Arizona is slated to throw sophomore righty James Farris against UCLA sophomore right Zack Weiss.