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#18 UCLA Baseball Takes Series From UCSB, Plays Nevada Tonight
The Bruins head into the final midweek game of the season with a perfect 7-0 record in such games.
The #18 ranked UCLA baseball team (30-16, 14-10) plays its final midweek game of the season tonight at Jackie Robinson Stadium when the Bruins face the Nevada Wolfpack (21-17, 18-9). First pitch is at 6 pm PT.
UCLA is previously undefeated in midweek games this campaign, beating Loyola Marymount four times, Cal State Fullerton twice, and Pepperdine once. Another Pepperdine game was cancelled due to COVID-19.
The Bruins will face a red hot Nevada team, which has won eleven straight conference games to lead the Mountain West with a 18-9 conference record. During the streak, the Wolfpack did lose once to Arizona State, 14-11, in non-conference play.
Last Time Out
On Sunday during the rubber match between UCLA and UC Santa Barbara, the Bruins were able to break open a tight, 4-3 game, with a seven-run seventh inning.
Both teams got on board in the first, care of a Gaucho RBI single and a JT Schwartz solo home run. After one, it was 1-1.
The Bruins plated three runs in the bottom of the second inning. With two outs and Noah Cardenas on first due to a walk, Mikey Perez singled, moving Cardenas to third. Kevin Kendall doubled home Cardenas, putting runners on second and third. Michael Curialle then singled home both Perez and Kendall, giving the Bruins a 4-1 lead.
A UCSB solo home run in the top of the fourth inning followed by an RBI single in the top of the fifth would trim UCLA’s lead to 4-3, setting up the seventh inning fireworks.
A walk, a single, and an intentional walk to Schwartz loaded the bases with one out and Kyle Cuellar coming to the plate. After falling behind 0-2, Cuellar fouled off a pitch and watched three balls go by. With a full count, Cuellar drove the ball deep to right center field and over the fence for a grand slam, putting the Bruins up 8-3.
After two walks and an out, Freshman Jon Jon Vaughns hit a three-run shot to right field to extend UCLA’s lead to 11-3, which would end up being the final score.
UCLA starter Jessie Bergin was not great, allowing three runs on five hits in 4-1/3 innings. The UCLA bullpen was very good, with Adrian Chaidez, Daniel Colwell, Michael Townsend, and Max Rajcic combining for two hits, two walks, and no runs over the final 4-2/3 innings. Chaidez would earn his second win of the season.
Nevada has gotten to where they are this season, at the top of the Mountain West Conference, with very good hitting. The Wolfpack bat .313 as a team and feature six players who have at least fifty at-bats and are hitting over .300. Dario Gomez and Dillon Scrum, both of whom have more than 100 at-bats, are hitting over .400.
But that is not even the best story on Nevada’s offense.
Senior third baseman Tyler Bosetti leads the Wolfpack in home runs with eleven, but in hitting those dingers, he also broke an NCAA record: Bosetti hit a home run in nine consecutive games, breaking a record that has stood since 1994 last Tuesday versus Arizona State. Officially listed at 6’0” and 180 lbs., Bosetti said after breaking the record:
To be honest, I looked at it as a joke. I'm not going to lie. . . Because I'm 5-10, 170 pounds. I would never expect myself to hit this many home runs, especially nine in a row.
What makes this story interesting is that, based on his size, Bosetti is clearly not a masher. Prior to his senior season, Bosetti only hit five career home runs, albeit in a COVID-19-shortened 2020 year.
While their hitting is great, Nevada’s pitching leaves a lot to be desired. The Wolfpack feature a team ERA of 5.33. Among Nevada’s pitchers with regular starts, the top ERA is 4.15, which belongs to Cam Walty, whom the Bruins will not face.
Barring a complete collapse this weekend versus Mountain West Conference bottom dweller, San Jose State, who have only won two conference games all season, the Wolfpack are poised to win the Mountain West Conference and secure the automatic bid to the NCAA postseason.
The Wolfpack, however, are 0-5 versus Pac-12 competition this season, getting swept on the road at Southern Cal and losing two midweek games versus Arizona State, one at home and one on the road.
UCLA and Nevada have faced each other once in their history, a 7-3 Wolfpack win in 2005, which was John Savage’s first year at the helm of UCLA. Savage has his B.S. degree from Nevada and began his college coaching career there as an assistant coach in 1992.
Tonight, Nevada will send freshman right hander Kade Morris (3-1, 7.71 ERA) to the hill. UCLA will counter with freshman right hander Jake Brooks (1-0, 5.65 ERA), who earned his first win of his college career last week versus Loyola Marymount.
#18 UCLA Baseball (30-16)
Opponent: Nevada Wolfpack (21-17)
Game Time: 6:00 pm PT, Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Where: Jackie Robinson Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Live TV: None
Live Audio: uclabruins.com with Tim Wilhelm
Live Stream: Pac-12.com and the Pac-12 Now app
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast
UCLA - Jake Brooks, Fr. RHP, (1-0, 5.65 ERA)
Nevada - Kade Morris, Fr. RHP (3-1, 7.71 ERA)
This is your UCLA baseball vs. Nevada Wolfpack midweek game open thread.