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Trio of walk-off Arizona wins cements UCLA baseball’s 10th road loss

Sophomore right-hander Michael Barnett pitches. Barnett tossed a career-high seven innings against Arizona, but UCLA fell in extra innings on its third straight walk-off loss. (Ella Greenberg Winnick/Daily Bruin staff)

Baseball


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By Noah Massey

March 31, 2024 7:33 p.m.

This post was updated March 31 at 11:28 p.m.

The Bruins had three opportunities to end their winless road record.

But in all three games – Thursday, Friday and Saturday – each contest concluded with a Wildcat walk-off.

UCLA baseball (10-15, 4-8 Pac-12) was swept by Arizona (13-13, 7-5), dropping the final game of the series 10-9 in 12 innings after falling 5-3 and 3-2 on Thursday and Friday, respectively. With the sweep, the Bruins have amassed a 0-10 record as the visiting outfit – a stark contrast from their 10-4 record at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

The series, however, began with early prospects of an ever-elusive road victory.

UCLA jumped ahead to a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning Friday, but Arizona was able to even the score with two in the bottom of the frame and another in the eighth, as sophomore right-hander Cody Delvecchio allowed a game-tying solo home run.

Delvecchio was later removed in the inning because of a right flexor strain, a team spokesperson said, adding another injury to an already bruised Bruin pitching staff.

Freshman right-hander Owen Egan replaced Delvecchio for his third appearance of the season, maintaining the tied game until the bottom of the 10th, when a two-run walk-off blast from Wildcats center fielder Brendan Summerhill sealed the game.

On Saturday, Arizona established a 2-0 lead through seven innings as UCLA struggled to score. Sophomore right-hander Michael Barnett kept UCLA in the game in his longest start of the year, tossing seven innings while allowing one earned run.

“I threw a lot more changeups than I’m used to,” Barnett said. “A lot of right-on-right changes to keep the mix going and keep them off-balance.”

In the top of the eighth, freshman infielder Roman Martin got the Bruins on the board with a leadoff double, scoring on an error to halve the deficit. The following inning, down to their final out, Martin shot a single into center field, tying up the game.

But the knotted-up contest was short-lived, as two walks and an error loaded the bases against graduate student right-hander Rashad Ruff, leading to a walk-off sacrifice fly for Arizona to clinch the series.

In its final chance to prevent a sweep, the game seemed to slip out of UCLA’s grasp as Arizona scored in each of the first six innings to take an 8-2 lead – a larger run differential than the total number of runs scored by UCLA in the first two games.

Yet, a rally in the top of the eighth lowered the deficit to two, as the first seven Bruins reached base safely before a bases-loaded double play and a punch out left UCLA down one.

Down to their final out, the Bruins nearly took a lead. However, a play at the plate cut down graduate student catcher Quintt Landis, sending the game to extras.

The game remained at eight apiece until the top of the 12th, when Landis singled to give UCLA a one-run lead.

However, the lead would not be enough, as Wildcats infielder Mason White sent Ruff’s 63rd pitch – and 85th in two days – over the right-field fence to seal the third walk-off win of the weekend.

Coach John Savage was unavailable for comment following the series finale Saturday.

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