UCLA Baseball Drops Series Opener to Ducks, 5-3; Look to Even Series This Afternoon
John Savage left his starter Zach Pettway in a little too long and it cost the Bruins a chance to win last night.
The UCLA baseball team dropped last night’s series opener to Oregon, 5-3. This afternoon, the Bruins will look to tie the series up when the teams meet again at 2 pm PT. Like last night, today’s game will again be livestreamed.
Last Time Out
The Bruins used a leadoff single by Kyle Karros in the third to take an early 1-0 lead. He went from first to third on a single to right by Kevin Kendall. Unfortunately, Kendall was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double. Karros, then, scored on a sacrifice fly from Pat Caulfield.
It remained 1-0 until the bottom of the sixth when Bruin starter Zach Pettway gave up a pair of doubles to tie the game up, 1-1.
John Savage should have turned to the bullpen for the final three innings.
Instead, he allowed Zach Pettway who has struggled most of the season to go out to pitch the seventh inning. What’s worse is that after allowing a pair of doubles to tie the game in the sixth, Savage didn’t have a quick enough hook in the seventh when the wheels came off.
And those wheels came off pretty quick.
Pettway gave up a single to Anthony Hall to start the seventh. Next, he allowed an RBI double to Kenyon Yovan which scored Hall. This would have been another great time to turn to the ‘pen.
But, again, it didn’t happen.
Aaron Zavala walked on five pitches to give the Ducks runners on first and second with still no outs. A bunt by Josh Kasevich got UCLA the first out of the inning, but it also gave the Ducks two runners in scoring position. Did Savage take Pettway out here? Still no.
The result was that Pettway loaded the bases by hitting Gabe Matthews with a pitch.
Finally, after Pettway gave up an two-run single to Sam Novitske, Savage had seen enough. Of course, the problem is that the Bruins were now in a 4-1 hole that they would have trouble getting out of.
Adrian Chaidez came in to pitch for the Bruins and he struck out Jack Scanlon for out number two.
A wild pitch to Gavin Grant allowed the runners to move up to second and third while Chaidez eventually walked Grant to load the bases. This time with the bases loaded, he made a call to the bullpen and Daniel Colwell got the call, but first baseman JT Schwartz booted the ball away trying to get Matthews at home. Instead, Matthews scored, giving the Ducks a 5-1 lead. The third out came when Novitske tried to score after a pitch got past UCLA catcher Noah Cardenas.
But the damage was done.
The Bruins did have a ninth-inning rally in them, though. It started when Kendall and Caulfield both singled to start the inning. Matt McLain’s single to left scored Kendall to close the gap to 5-2. UCLA loaded the bases when JT Schwartz walked. With one out, Cardenas hit into a fielder’s choice. While Caulfield scored on the play, McLain was thrown out at third. The rally died when Michael Curialle grounded out to short to end the game.
While Pettway (1-3) took the loss for the game, after allowing four earned runs in 6-1/3 innings pitched, this loss lands squarely on Savage. While Pettway allowed six hits and a pair of walks while striking out six, Savage should never have allowed a guy who’s struggled most of the season to go out for the seventh inning. Sure, it would have been nice to save the bullpen for today and Sunday, it cost UCLA the win tonight.
Colwell continued to pitch well in relief. He threw 1-1/3 innings of scoreless relief and didn’t allow a hit or walk.
This afternoon, Sean Mullen (7-1, 2.56 ERA), perhaps the Bruins’ best pitcher this season, will get the start while junior righthander Cullen Kafka (4-1, 2.44 ERA) will take to the hill for Oregon.
UCLA Baseball (22-12, 9-7)
Opponent: Oregon Ducks (23-8, 9-4)
Game Time: 2:00 pm PT, Saturday, April 24, 2021
Where: PK Park, Eugene, OR
Live TV: None
Live Audio: None
Live Stream: Pac-12.com and the Pac-12 Now app
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast
UCLA - Sean Mullen, RHP, Jr. (7-1, 2.56 ERA)
Oregon - Cullen Kafka, RHP, Jr. (4-1, 2.44 ERA)
This is your UCLA baseball vs. Oregon game two open thread.