UCLA's comeback falls short as Fullerton wins 9-6

Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

The Bruins never led as the Titans beat up the UCLA pitching staff and cruised to a win in Westwood.

UCLA fell behind in the first inning and while they did grab the lead once, they spent most of the game chasing Cal St. Fullerton, who downed the Bruins 9-6 at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Tuesday night. The Bruins did their best to mount a comeback late, scoring the game's last three runs, but the Titans' four-run sixth put the game out of reach and proved to be the difference as Fullerton ended UCLA's 14-game win streak in midweek games.

The Bruins' offense did well enough, although they got plenty of help from five Fullerton errors. Eric Filia led the way with three of UCLA's seven hits, while Trent Chatterton added two hits and two RBI and Pat Valaika notched a two-run homer, his third long ball of the season.

But the UCLA pitching staff couldn't make the six runs work. Cody Poteet took the loss after allowing four runs in just 3.2 innings, while James Kaprielian was betrayed by his defense as four runs came across in his two innings of work, only one of which was earned. Max Schuh allowed a two-RBI single to the lone batter he faced and while the crew of Ryan Deeter, Zack Weiss an Grant Watson was good from then on, it didn't matter.

The Titans struck for two in the first and put the Bruins in a hole before UCLA even got a chance at the plate. A leadoff walk came back to haunt Poteet when a one-out double scored a run, then a RBI single followed and Fullerton led 2-0.

Kevin Williams led off the UCLA second with a walk then took second on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on a Chatterton single. That set up Valaika's two-strike, two-out, two-run shot in the third inning that gave the Bruins their first lead of the game.

Fullerton responded with two runs of their own the next inning, though, and they would never relinquish the lead. The Titans added one more in the fifth to make it 5-3 then four more in the sixth, all with two outs.

Those last four runs would end up winning the game for Fullerton, who threw the ball away time and time again in the latter innings, but still held on. UCLA scored single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, all unearned, to cut the Titans' lead to 9-6 and going into the ninth, there was hope they could come back, but a 1-2-3 inning extinguished that hope as Fullerton upended UCLA..

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