OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Arizona's Konner Wade got payback, and then some, against UCLA on Sunday night.
Wade pitched his first career shutout, limiting the Bruins to five singles in a 4-0 victory that gave the Wildcats control of Bracket 1 at the College World Series.
Two months ago, the Bruins had knocked the sophomore out of a Pac-12 game after three innings and dealt him the first loss of his career.
"I got hit pretty hard the last time I pitched against them, and I knew they took advantage of the mistakes I made that game," Wade said. "I was really eager for the opportunity to throw against them today. I was going to try to keep the ball down in the zone, and I let my movement take care of it."
Safe to say, Sunday's game was more important than Wade's 15-3 loss in Tucson, Ariz., back in April.
This win gave the Wildcats (45-17) three days off and put them one victory away from the best-of-three finals, in which they would play for their fourth national championship and first since 1986.
Second-seeded UCLA (48-15), which lost for the first time in 11 games, will play Florida State in an elimination game on Tuesday.
"It's all about taking blows at the College World Series," Bruins coach John Savage said. "It's not a dagger. It's a blow. We'll move on and we'll be ready to play on Tuesday night."
Wade (10-3) outdueled Nick Vander Tuig (10-4), throwing his second straight complete game and fifth of the season. It was Arizona's sixth shutout in 62 CWS games and its first since Craig Lefferts blanked Michigan in 1980.
"He pitched as well as anybody we've seen all year," Savage said.
Wade walked one and struck out four in a 109-pitch outing in which he threw 79 strikes.
"It's an understatement for me to say he was outstanding. He was pretty doggone good," Arizona coach Andy Lopez said. "I thought it was a great matchup. We were fortunate enough to get one inning where we got some offense, and when you have two good clubs getting together like that, that was the difference."