UCLA Baseball Slammed by Berkeley, 14-2; Looks to Even Series Today
Zach Pettway had another forgettable outing and, as a result, Head Coach John Savage might want to rethink the Friday starter situation going forward as we near the postseason.
The UCLA baseball team (31-17, 14-11 Pac-12) was destroyed at home by the UC Berkeley Golden Bears last night (27-23, 13-12 Pac-12), by the score of 14-2, in what was perhaps their worst showing of the season. Zach Pettway had another outing to forget and the Golden Bears hit four home runs and racked up 17(!) hits off of UCLA pitching. Even in their outs, the Golden Bears were teeing off on Pettway, who looks nothing like the pitcher from past seasons.
Conversely, UC Berkeley starter Josh White was in control, going six innings, allowing only two earned runs, and striking out ten. It has been some time since the Bruins were so comprehensively taken apart in all facets of the game.
UCLA’s Friday starter position is a huge problem right now. The Bruins cannot afford to continue losing Friday games going into the postseason; it is a recipe for disaster. At this point, it is not unreasonable to suggest that Head Coach John Savage should reconsider who he sends to the mound on Friday nights, starting next Friday night at Arizona State.
Today, UCLA will look to even the series while the Golden Bears will seek a series win that could boost their postseason aspirations. First pitch is at 2 pm PT.
Last Time Out
Last night, as was the case on Tuesday night, both teams posted a run in the first inning. If you read the series preview, you will not be surprised at how UC Berkeley scored in the first. With two outs, Darren Baker walked, stole second, and was driven home by a Quentin Selma single.
UCLA answered in the bottom half of the inning, care of senior Kyle Cuellar. The lefthander pulled one over the right field fence to even the score at 1-1.
Berkeley answered in the top of the second inning on a single and a two run home run. The Golden Bears led 3-1 after an inning and a half.
UC Berkeley got on the board again in the third inning. Back-to-back doubles with one out made the score 4-1. A single scored another run, pushing the score to 5-1. Pettway was having another poor outing, putting the Bruins in a hole they could not get out of on a Friday night.
Mikey Perez cut the lead to 5-2 on a solo home run to start off the bottom of the third inning, but the next three Bruins would strike out to end the frame. Pettway finally settled down a bit and did not allow a run in the fourth inning, giving up only a single.
White, the Golden Bears’ ace, struck out two more Bruins in the bottom of the fourth, bringing his run to five straight, before he walked Noah Cardenas on four pitches. Michael Currialle hit a check swing infield single to bring up freshman Jon Jon Vaughns, who represented the tying run. Unfortunately for Bruin fans, White struck out Vaughns swinging, stranding two Bruins on the basepaths. What could have been a tie game then spun out of control.
Selma punished Pettway more in the top of the fifth, as the Golden Bear homered just inside the left right foul pole and just past the outfield fence to increase UC Berkeley’s lead to 6-2. After a one-out walk, Coach Savage decided that that was it for Pettway, who in 4-1/3 innings allowed nine hits, six runs, and was responsible for one more Golden Bear still on base.
Jack Harrison came on and gave up a double to the right center gap, scoring another run and closing the book on Pettway with seven earned runs. The score was now 7-2 UC Berkeley. Harrison was replaced by Daniel Colwell, who retired the side.
After UCLA went down in order in the bottom of the fifth, Dylan Beavers drove a Colwell pitch deep over the center field fence for a home run to extend the Golden Bears’ lead to 8-2. A single, a hit-by-pitch, a passed ball, and a two-RBI single chased Colwell and the rout was on as UC Berkeley led 10-2. And frankly, at that point, it was 10-2 and 11 pm ET and I turned off the broadcast.
The Golden Bears went on to score four more runs, including two more in the top of the sixth and a two-run home run with no outs in the seventh inning.
The Bruins only mustered five hits on the night. If there was a bright spot, it was Jake Brooks, who pitched three scoreless innings to close out the game.
UCLA will send junior righty Sean Mullen (9-1, 2.77 ERA), who has been their best starter all season, to the hill today to try to even the series. UC Berkeley will counter with junior right hander Sean Sullivan (3-5, 3.57 ERA).
#18 UCLA Baseball (31-17, 14-11)
Opponent: UC Berkeley Golden Bears (27-23, 13-12)
Game Time: 2:00 pm PT, Saturday, May 22, 2021
Where: Jackie Robinson Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Live TV/Audio: uclabruins.com with Tim Wilhelm
Live Stream: Pac-12.com and the Pac-12 Now app
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast
UCLA - Sean Mullen, RHP, Jr. (9-1, 2.77 ERA)
UCB - Sean Sullivan, RHP, Jr. (3-5, 3.57 ERA)
This is your UCLA baseball vs. UC Berkeley game two open thread.