Hamlin throws complete game as Arizona holds off UCLA

TUCSON, Ariz. — Cody Hamlin tossed a complete game five-hitter and Riley Moore collected a season-high three hits as Arizona held on for a 3-2 victory Saturday night over No. 22 UCLA.

Arizona’s battery of Hamlin and Moore was the difference throughout. Hamlin’s gem — his second complete game of the season — included just one earned run allowed on five hits and a pair of walks. He also struck out six.

Moore provided the offensive punch with a 3-for-3 night, accounting for all three Arizona runs with two runs batted in and one run scored.

With Hamlin in control on the mound, the Wildcats (16-20, 5-9 Pac-12) received all the offense they needed in a three-run second inning to erase the Bruins’ early lead.

Tyler Krause and Kenny Meimerstorf, neither of whom was in the starting lineup in Friday’s 8-0 loss, delivered back-to-back one-out singles, and with two outs, Moore ripped a shot on an 0-2 pitch that skipped over first baseman Pat Gallagher and rolled into the right-field corner for a two-run double. 

Zach Gibbons followed with a single to left field to drive home Moore with what proved to be the winning run.

UCLA (19-14, 7-4 Pac-12) struck first with a run in the top of the second inning. Hamlin issued a leadoff walk to Kevin Williams, who was bunted to second by Luke Persico. Chris Keck then stepped in and singled to left field, sending Williams home with the game’s first run.

The Bruins threatened late in the game, but Hamlin never gave in.

Second baseman Trent Gilbert’s error with two outs in the seventh allowed Persico to score, cutting Arizona’s lead to 3-2.

In the eighth, Shane Zeile and Ty Moore each singled with two outs, putting the potential tying run at second base. After a visit from pitching coach Shaun Cole, Hamlin remained in the game and coaxed a foul-out to end the threat.

Hamlin returned to the mound in the ninth and set down the Bruins in order. Pinch hitter Brett Stephens grounded out and Keck fouled out before Hamlin struck out pinch hitter Justin Hazard to end the game.

Saturday’s win marked the second time this season Hamlin has defeated a nationally ranked opponent. On March 29, he allowed just two runs in 8 2/3 innings in a victory over then-No. 7 Oregon State.

Hamlin has pitched into the eighth inning in each of his last six starts, including all five against conference opponents. He lowered his season earned run average to 2.14 and now has 38 strikeouts against 10 walks in 71 1/3 innings pitched.

Except for the three-run third, UCLA starter Grant Watson (L, 4-4) was solid. The lefty scattered eight hits and a walk while collecting six strikeouts in seven complete innings.