Unexpected sure, but undeserved, in no way, shape or form. UCLA was outhit, outpitched and outdefended by San Jose St. on Saturday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium so at the completion of nine innings when the Spartans found themselves winners over the nation's second ranked team it was in no way undeserved. A complete performance by the Spartans bested the Bruins 5-3 in game two of a rain-induced strangely scheduled series.
Because of the rain, UCLA and San Jose St. were actually starting their second game of the series, but finishing their second. Friday's series opener got underway and the Bruins actually scored a run in the first inning on a Beau Amaral home run, but after the first inning the rains came and suspended the contest. Now, UCLA and San Jose St. will resume their series opener on Sunday at noon before playing the day's regularly scheduled contest with the Bruins needing to take both games to win the series after falling on Saturday.
UCLA gave up their first earned runs on the season, four of them in fact, then had a fifth run charged to them thanks to an error. At the same time, the Bruins only managed five hits to San Jose St.'s 10 as they were completely befuddled by Spartan starter Roberto Padilla who went the distance to pick up the complete game win. Trevor Bauer absorbed the loss for the Bruins to fall to 1-1 after 6.2 innings of five run ball, one of them unearned. Mitchell Beacom and Zack Weiss came out of the bullpen to toss 2.1 shutout innings, but it wasn't enough as no Bruin batter notched multiple hits in the game.
San Jose St. had the first opportunity to score when they put a man on third with only one out in the second inning, but Bauer got consecutive strikeouts to get out of the inning. The Bruins took their first and only lead a half an inning later when they put together a two-out rally. Chris Giovinazzo got the rally going with a two-out triple down the right field line and after Cody Regis walked and stole second, Pat Valaika brought him home. The freshman caught the Spartan infield back and laid a beautiful bunt down the third base line for an easy single that scored Giovinazzo and put the Bruins ahead 1-0.
The fourth inning marked the Spartan takeover of the game though. Consecutive singles to start the inning and a wild pitch had the Spartans in business. A ground out to shortstop was a productive out for San Jose St. as it brought home the man from third to even the score at one apiece, but the next run came home thanks to an error by Dean Espy at first. However the run came across, San Jose St. was up 2-1.
An inning later the Spartans had stretched their lead to 4-1 thanks to the long ball. It looked as if Bauer had recovered from his rocky fourth inning when he got a pair of strikeouts to lead off the inning, but a single gave the Spartans a chance that they took advantage of. On a 2-0 count Craig Hertler got around on a pitch and deposited beyond the right field fence for a 4-1 San Jose St. edge.
To their credit, UCLA responded in their half of the fifth. A lead off single by Steve Rodriguez got the Bruins going and a one-out double by Beau Amaral put men on second and third with only one out. Tyler Rahmatulla did his job with the productive out by grounding out to third, allowing Rodriguez to score, then Espy bettered him with a single the other way to right field, scoring Amaral and the Bruins were back within one at 4-3.
Unfortunately for UCLA, they wouldn't notch another run in the ballgame and San Jose St. In the seventh inning the Spartans hit a pair of doubles to increase their lead to 5-3 and the second of those doubles was the end of Bauer's day.
Not only were the Bruins unable to score after getting their two runs in the fifth, they didn't pick up another hit. An eight inning walk and ninth inning hit by pitch was the best UCLA could manage and Padilla got his 27th out of the game to wrap up a 5-3 win for the Spartans.
UCLA will be charged with picking up both games of what will essentially be a double header on Sunday, although they do get to start the double header leading 1-0. The first game gets underway at noon and the second game will follow when the first game is completed.