Arizona (14-6, 1-2) will host its first Pac-12 Series of the season starting Thursday vs. No. 23 UCLA (11-7, 3-0). The Bruins are coming off a three-game sweep of Washington State. The Cats dropped two of three at Washington in their first league series.
Junior Bobby Dalbec was named Pac-12 Player of the Week Monday after going 5-14 with three home runs and six RBI. He also tossed seven innings and allowed just two earned runs and struck out six. He collected one win and one save in his two appearances. Dalbec then went 2-3 with two walks in Tuesday’s win over Utah Valley.
Ryan Aguilar tied Dalbec for the team lead in home runs with four when he blasted a shot a shot over the wall in right field. Aguilar is hitting .350 this season with four home runs and 18 RBI. The 18 RBI are tops on the team.
Arizona will insert Dalbec into the starting rotation this weekend for the first time this season. The right-hander is listed as the probable starter for Saturday’s series finale.
The Bruins are looking to open Pac-12 play 4-0 for the first time since 2007. UCLA head coach John Savage is seven wins shy of 500 in his head coaching career.
Kyle Molnar was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for his seven-inning, 11-strikeout win over WSU on Sunday, 3/20. Molnar struck out eight batters in a row, the most consecutive strikeouts for a UCLA pitcher since David Huff struck out nine in a row in 2006.
UCLA struck out 36 batters in three games last weekend, averaging 12 per game. Brian Gadsby ranks T-2nd in the Pac-12 in saves (5).
The Bruins hit just .245 as a team and are led offensively by Eric Filla (.352-2-14) who has a team-high 25 hits. Eric Peterson is the only other player hitting about .300 (.333) on the season.
UCLA leads all-time series 126-116-1. The Bruins swept a three-game series in Los Angeles last season.
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