Freshman Alfonso Rivas had three hits, including his first career triple, but the Arizona Wildcats fell to UCLA 4-3 Friday night in front of a season-high 3,885 fans at Hi Corbett Field.
The win by the Bruins evened the series up at one game apiece. The rubber game is set for 1 p.m., Saturday.
Rivas finished 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. The freshman left-hander also came on to pitch in the ninth inning and retired the only batter he faced. Senior Zach Gibbons also had a multi-hit game in the loss, going 2 for 4 with an RBI.
The Bruins took an early lead Friday, scoring a run in the first inning off starter Nathan Bannister. Brett Urabe started the game with a triple and scored one batter later when Brett Stephens grounded out to second base. Bannister (ND) had not allowed a run at home all season (19.1 IP) prior to the Bruins tally in the first. He allowed a double to the next batter, but got a pop out and a strikeout to get out of the inning with no further damage.
UCLA starter Grant Dyer held the Wildcats scoreless over the first three innings and Bannister put up three straight zeroes of his own after the first to keep it 1-0 heading to the bottom of the fourth. There, Arizona took the lead for the first time. Ryan Aguilar walked to reach base safely for the 22nd straight game and start the inning. Bobby Dalbec then singled to left to move Aguilar to second.
After J.J. Matijevic dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Aguilar to third and Dalbec to second, Aguilar scored when Dyer committed a throwing error, tossing the ball to center field trying to pick off Dalbec at second. Rivas then singled to center to score Dalbec to give the Cats a 2-1 lead.
The Bruins answered right back, scoring two in the fifth to retake the lead. Kort Peterson tripled with one out to score Luke Perisco and tie the game at one. The next batter, Sean Bouchard, then singled to left to score Peterson and give UCLA the lead back.
Arizona didn’t score in the bottom of the fifth and then coach Jay Johnson went to the bullpen in the sixth. With one out and two on, freshman Cody Deason got a 5-4-3 double play to get out of the inning and keep the deficit at one.
In the bottom of the inning, the Cats tied the game back up. Rivas stroked a two-out triple to center field and scored one batter later when Gibbons singled to right on an 0-2 count.
In the seventh, Johnson summoned Dalbec with two outs to get of the inning. He retired the only batter he faced to get the game to the seventh-inning stretch.
Arizona (15-7, 2-3 Pac-12) couldn’t take the lead in the seventh and Dalbec came back for the eighth and put together a 1-2-3 inning. The third baseman/pitcher then reached base in the bottom of the eighth with one out, but Matijevic and Rivas both flew out to end the inning.
In the ninth, Dalbec (L, 4-2) retired the first two batters of the inning, before Peterson singled to right and stole second to get into scoring position. Bouchard brought him home on an RBI single on a 2-2 count to give the Bruins the lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Gibbons started the inning with a single, but Cesar Salazar then grounded into a double play on a hard-hit ball to second base. Dyer (W, 1-1) finished his complete game for the Bruins (12-8, 4-1) when he got Louis Boyd to pop out to second to end the game.
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David Kelly contributed to this story.
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