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Bruins Ninth-Inning Rally Falls Short, 7-6
UCLA had plenty of offense again, but the pitching staff struggled as the Bruins lost their second straight to the Huskies.
The Bruin pitching and defense continued their struggles yesterday afternoon when Washington defeated UCLA, 7-6. The Bruins have now dropped the first two games of the series to the Huskies. This afternoon, UCLA will try to salvage a game as the series concludes. First pitch is scheduled for Noon PT and the game will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.
Last Time Out
Yesterday’s game was scoreless through three innings. After Jesse Bergin got the first two batters of the fourth inning out, he gave up a single to Will Simpson. Christian Jones was up next for the Huskies and he knocked the cover off the ball. Simpson scored from first on the hit, but Jones was thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple and Washington had a 1-0 lead.
UCLA came back in a big way in the bottom of the fifth. Michael Curialle picked up a lead-off single to start the rally. Kyle Karros and Kevin Kendall both reached on fielder’s choices. Kendall’s scored Curialle to tie the game up. The Bruins loaded the bases when Matt McLain walked. Noah Cardenas followed and he went yard for UCLA’s first grand slam since 2019. The Bruins had a 5-1 lead after five innings.
A one-out fielding error by Emanuel Dean in left gave the Huskies a runner on first when Noah Hsue hit an RBI triple to right that cut UCLA’s lead to 5-2. John Savage turned to Nick Nastrini to try to get the final two outs.
It didn’t happen.
Nastrini was only able to get one of the two outs needed to get out of the inning. He gave up an RBI single which made it 5-3 and then walked two more Huskies to load the bases. That brought Jake Saum in for Nastrini. Saum wasn’t much better than Nastrini. He gave up a three-run double along with an RBI single as Washington took a 7-5 lead.
Kyle Cuellar started a ninth inning rally for the Bruins with a lead-off walk. Kendall’s one-out RBI double cut the Huskies’ lead in half. Kendall moved to third when McLain hit a single to left center, giving the Bruins the tying run on third and the winning run on first with still just one out. But Cardenas struck out looking and JT Schwartz struck out swinging ending the rally and the game with UCLA on the short end, 7-6.
It’s hard to say the offense struggled when the Bruins put up six runs, but they did leave seven runners on base including three in scoring position. Of course, the tying run was on third in the ninth with just one out and UCLA couldn’t get him home. So, in that respect, you can at least say that the Bruins could use a little more clutch hitting. At the same time, when you score six runs in consecutive games and lose both, it feels like the team needs better outings from both the starters and the relievers.
Today, the Bruins will look to salvage a game when the teams meet again at noon. Jared Karros will take to the hill for UCLA and Washington’s starter has not been announced.
#9 UCLA Baseball (15-9, 4-4)
Opponent: Washington Huskies (10-13, 2-6)
Where: Jackie Robinson Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Game Time: 12:00 pm PT, Saturday, April 3, 2021
Projected Pitching Matchup:
UCLA - Jared Karros, RHP, So. (2-1, 3.33 ERA)
UW - TBA
Live TV: Pac-12 Networks National and Los Angeles with J.B. Long and Ben Francisco
Live Audio: uclabruins.com with Tim Wilhelm
Live Stream: Pac-12.com and the Pac-12 Now app
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast
This is your UCLA baseball vs. Washington Huskies game three open thread.