LOS ANGELES – A four-run rally in the first inning proved to be decisive as No. 12 UCLA recorded a 5-1 win over Arizona in Friday night’s series opener at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
With the result, UCLA (13-3, 3-1) has now won 10 consecutive games at home to start the 2023 season.
Mac Bingham led off the game with a solo homer for Arizona (12-4, 3-1), but UCLA starter Jake Brooks and a trio of relievers held the visitors off the board the rest of the way.
The Bruins responded immediately after Bingham’s go-ahead blast, putting together a go-ahead four-spot in the bottom half of the first.
Sophomore shortstop Cody Schrier set the table for the rally, reaching on an infield single and then taking second easily on a delayed steal to get into scoring position.
Junior third baseman Kyle Karros knocked in Schrier with an RBI double into the right field corner, placing a fly ball just inside the foul line for a game-tying knock. Sophomore DH Jack Holman then produced the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run with a sac fly to center, and junior center fielder Carson Yates capped the rally with a two-run single back up the middle.
Strong pitching and defense allowed that early lead to hold up, as the Bruins made several big plays to keep the Wildcats off the board.
Most crucial was a bases-loaded double play in the seventh inning with freshman righty Cody Delvecchio on the mound. Up 5-1 at the time with just one away, Delvecchio induced a soft liner from two-hitter Nik McClaughry…
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