The Bruins 2012 season is over
They won their second consecutive Pac-12 title, were the number two national seed and advanced to the College World Series for the second time in three years, but UCLA couldn't break through to do one more thing for the first time in school history - win a national title. The Bruin offense went missing for the second straight game and as a result, they were dealt their second straight loss. Florida St. downed UCLA, 4-1, on Tuesday, eliminating them from the College World Series and ending their season at 48-16.
The Bruins got off to a bad start with Zack Weiss on the mound, who threw 36 pitches, only 10 of them for strikes while walking three to give up two runs in just 0.1 innings. Grant Watson allowed two runs in five hits and three walks in three innings of relief before Ryan Deeter tossed 1.2 scoreless innings. David Berg, appearing in his 50th game of the season, allowed just one hit in 2.1 scoreless innings before Scott Griggs got two outs.
With the UCLA offense mustering just five hits all game, Beau Amaral's two base knocks looked like a big output. Kevin Williams scored the Bruins' only run of the game and Cody Keefer drove him in, but the big number was the 11 strikeouts UCLA had. It brought back flashbacks to last season as the offense disappeared in the loss.
With the wind blowing in against a team that doesn't hit for a high average, but has power and walks a lot, throwing strikes was priority numbers one, two and three. Unfortunately, Weiss started the game with a walk. After a walk, he allowed a single and then walked another to load the bases before walking a run in on four pitches and getting the hook. Watson came in and walked the first man he faced to make it 2-0, but then he got a double play to end the inning.
The Seminoles' offense didn't slow, though, getting two walks and a single in the second to load the bases. Watson got out of the inning without a run across, but Florida St. was clearly the better looking team early on.
A lead off base hit by Amaral in the fourth gave the Bruins their first base runner of the game, but he only made it as far as third base. UCLA didn't even get the ball out of the infield in the rest of the inning.
Three consecutive singles with one out in the fourth marked the end of Watson's day and brought on Deeter. The first pitch he threw was bunted for a perfect squeeze that scored one run, but Kevin Kramer overran the ball trying to barehand it then fell asleep as another run came across to score and FSU had a 4-0 lead.
UCLA had one real chance to get back in the game, but couldn't cash it in the way they had to. A walk by Williams, double by Amaral put two on, then Tyler Heineman was hit by a pitch and the bases were loaded with nobody out. Keefer then hit the first pitch he saw right back up the middle for a RBI single and the Bruins were on the scoreboard. It looked like the Bruins were going to do more damage with the bases loaded and still nobody out, but then the offense had a brain lock. Against a pitcher who hadn't throw more than six innings all season and was beginning to tire, they swung at slider after slider. Three straight Bruins went down swinging at sliders and they stranded the bases loaded.
From that point on, the Bruins didn't have much of a chance. They went away quietly into the offseason, 4-1 losers and despite a great season up until Sunday, wondering where their offense went when they needed it most.