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UCLA Defeats Arizona, 6-2, To Win Series And Move Atop The Pac-12

Zack Weiss returned to the starting rotation and was superb (Photo Credit: Official Site)
Zack Weiss returned to the starting rotation and was superb (Photo Credit: Official Site)

After getting beaten on Friday night, UCLA found themselves in a deep hole. Going up against the nation's top offense on the road is not exactly a recipe for winning consecutive games, but that's just what the Bruins did. After toppling Arizona on Saturday, UCLA bested the Wildcats, 6-2, on Sunday to win the series and move into a three-way tie atop the Pac-12 with Arizona and Oregon at 10-5. It marked the first time all season that Arizona lost a series and continued a streak of seven consecutive series wins for the Bruins over the Wildcats.

Going up against the Arizona offense, nobody is going to shut them out, but that doesn't mean one can't be effective, and Zack Weiss was very effective on Sunday. The right-hander, making his return to the starting rotation after a month-long absence with shoulder soreness, tossed six strong innings to pick up the win and improve to 2-1 on the year. Weiss limited the Wildcats to just two runs on five hits in his outing and struck out five. Grant Watson and Ryan Deeter got the Bruins to the ninth inning with a perfect inning each before Scott Griggs shut it down in the ninth with a scoreless frame.

Fresh off of his sensational Saturday performance, Beau Amaral was back at it again on Sunday. The junior picked up two hits, drove a pair in and scored a run in a game that saw his hitting streak extend to 18 games. Jeff Gelalich led the way for the Bruins with three hits and he also added a run and RBI, while Eric Filia-Snyder picked up a pair of hits of his own. Tyler Heineman also had a hit, which stretched his hitting streak to 14 games.

Both UCLA and Arizona put a pair of base runners on in the first and had a chance to go in front, but neither could cash them in. The Wildcats did finally break the scoreless tie in the third, though, when a walk and single put a man on third so a sacrifice fly could score him.

The Bruins had an answer for the Wildcats in the next inning and it began with a Cody Keefer walk. A base hit by Gelalich then moved him to third before Trevor Brown picked up a RBI with a base hit to right that scored Keefer and tied the game. With two on and none out, it looked like UCLA could put together a big inning, but a fielder's choice and double play ended the frame.

Base running gave Arizona the lead right back in the bottom half of the inning. A one-out base hit and stolen base got a man in scoring position before a base hit scored the go-ahead run for the home team, but it would prove to be the last time the Wildcats had a lead.

Amaral did the damage for the Bruins in the fifth, roping a one-out double to right that scored Kevin Williams and tied the game up again. He then took third on a wild pitch and when Heineman singled to left, Amaral coasted home to score for the 3-2 lead.

Trailing for the first time all game, Arizona looked to get back in front quickly, but Weiss made sure they couldn't gather any momentum. He struck out the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the fifth in a 1-2-3 frame that made sure the momentum was firmly in UCLA's hands.

UCLA was able to build on that momentum in the next winning when Amaral came through with two outs and two strikes. The junior was able to pull a base hit to right, scoring Pat Valaika and stretching the UCLA lead to two runs.

An inning later, the Bruins put the game to bed. Keefer led off the frame with a single before scoring on Gelalich's double to right center that made it 5-2. Arizona then handed the Bruins a gift, scoring on a throwing error after a Filia-Snyder single and with a 6-2 lead, the Bruin bullpen went to work.

Watson entered after the seventh inning stretch and sat the Wildcats down in order before handing the ball to Deeter, who was equally as efficient. That just left Griggs, who gave up a base hit, but struck out the final two batters to put a bow on a massive series win for the Bruins, who are now 10-1 away from Jackie Robinson Stadium on the year.