UCLA Baseball: Bruins Drown Waves 16-8, Face Cal State Fullerton Today in College Baseball Classic
Jared Karros pitched five innings of one run, three hit ball in relief to earn the win against Pepperdine last night.
After beating up Pepperdine last night by the score of 16-8, the UCLA baseball team (6-3) will face the Cal State Fullerton Titans (4-4) this afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium for the second time in five days. This time, the two squads will square off in the second game for both in the College Baseball Classic. First pitch is at 2 pm PT.
Last Time Out
UCLA pounded the Pepperdine Waves last night at JRS. Although the 16-8 scoreline suggests that UCLA was in control the whole game, that was not the case.
Pepperdine jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but the Bruins turned the game around, putting one or more runs on the scoreboard in the second, third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. UCLA led 9-4 going into the eighth inning, but the Waves tagged Kyle Mora for four runs in the top of that frame before Sean Mullen put out the fire.
The score was 9-8 UCLA going into the bottom of the eighth.
And that’s when UCLA broke the game open, sending 13 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs to extend their lead to 16-8. The Bruins did it with only two hits, both doubles! Four different Pepperdine pitchers appeared in the inning and, between them, they issued five walks and hit three Bruin batters with pitches.
Mullen retired the side in the ninth inning, striking out two and issuing a walk, earning his first save of the season to go with his two mid-week wins.
UCLA’s big bat on the night was Michael Curialle, who went 3 for 4, all doubles, with four RBI and four runs scored. Noah Cardenas was right behind him, going 2 for 3 with three RBI and three runs scored. Josh Hahn also had a good night, going 2 for 3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Between this game and the Fullerton game on Tuesday, UCLA has raised its team batting average 28 points from .218 to .246.
UCLA also got a great performance from Jared Karros, who calmed the Waves in the middle innings while UCLA flipped the script. Karros threw five innings of one-run, three-hit ball, struck out six, and earned the win, his first of the season.
Aside from Mora’s struggles in the eighth inning, the only other negative for the Bruins was Zach Pettway’s return as Friday night starter. Pettway did not appear to be completely back to his old self and he had a tough outing, giving up three runs on five hits in two innings pitched, including three straight singles to start the game. Here’s to hoping that Zach gradually returns to form as the season continues.
This will be the second time UCLA faces Cal State Fullerton this week. The Bruins beat up the Titans pretty badly on Tuesday, prevailing 14-1. In that game, the Bruins bats finally came alive, Sean Mullen earned the win in a five inning outing, and the bullpen did not give up a hit in four innings.
But, from a pitching standpoint, mid-week games are one thing, while weekend games are typically a different beast. In this case, however, Fullerton has not named its Saturday starter. Timothy Josten (0-0, 0.00 ERA) and Peyton Jones (0-0, 6.75 ERA), both lefties, have started the second weekend games for the Titans in their previous weekend series so far this season. So, perhaps one of them will go today for Cal State Fullerton.
We do know that the Titans’ top starting pitcher Tanner Bibee (2-1, 0.43 ERA) will not pitch. That’s because he threw a three-hit complete game shutout against Southern Cal last night as the Titans prevailed 5-0 over the Trojans.
Today, UCLA will send Jesse Bergin to the hill. Bergin pitched great in his first start two weeks ago, going 6-1/3 scoreless innings and allowing only one hit against San Francisco. Last week, however, the junior right hander was lit up by UC Irvine, allowing seven runs, including three earned runs, on seven hits in three innings.
Which Jesse Bergin will we see today?
#9 UCLA Baseball (6-3)
Opponent: Cal State Fullerton Titans (4-4)
Game Time: 2:00 pm PT, Saturday, March 6, 2021
Where: Jackie Robinson Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Projected Pitching Matchup:
UCLA - Jesse Bergin, RHP, Jr. (1-1, 2.79 ERA)
CSF - TBD
This is your UCLA vs. Cal State Fullerton open thread.