UCLA catapulted themselves back into the Pac-12 title race over the weekend with a series win at conference leaders Oregon, but that momentum didn't carry over to Jackie Robinson Stadium, where they were absolutely crushed by Long Beach St. on Tuesday night. The Dirtbags struck for two runs in the first and never looked back, while the Bruins' offense mustered just four hits en route to an 11-1 defeat that drops UCLA to 25-12 on the season.
Cody Poteet wasn't hit much, getting pinged just twice, but he walked five and that led to five runs, four earned, in 2.1 innings. It was the freshman's worst start of the season and put the Bruins in a deep hole that Jake Ehret made deeper when he allowed three runs without retiring a batter. Ryan Deeter didn't fair well either, giving up three runs in 2.1 innings. Even if the Bruins brought their bats to the game, it wouldn't have done any good.
Poteet surrendered a walk to start the game, which was a sign of things to come. A RBI doubled followed and after a sacrifice bunt, a groundout plated another to give the Dirtbags a 2-0 first inning lead.
Things were only marginally better for Poteet in the second. He didn't give up a run, but he allowed a double and walked two more to load the bases before getting out of the frame. Sure, UCLA was still only down two, but it was clear that Poteet wasn't going to keep Long Beach St.'s offense off the scoreboard very often.
In the third, it finally came apart for the freshman. He didn't get much help when a one-out error got the Dirtbags going, but a wild pitch and consecutive walks followed. Poteet didn't know where the ball was going and John Savage had seen enough, giving the right-hander the hook. But Ehret didn't do better, giving up a three-RBI double to the first man he saw as the Dirtbags extended their lead to 5-0. Ehret then issued a walk and allowed a run scoring single to make it 6-0 before Long Beach St. put the game away with a two-RBI double.
UCLA actually had chances to score in each of the first two innings, putting two on in the first inning and another man on in the second, but both times the Bruins couldn't convert. By the time they came to the plate in the third, they were down 8-0 and the game was in the bag, but they kept trying. Kevin Kramer doubled for his second hit of the game and Pat Valaika reached on an error, but they too were stranded.
Deeter didn't get dinged up until the fifth, when a three-run home run ended his day and stretched the Dirtbags' lead to 11-0.
From there, the Bruins actually got some strong performances. James Kaprielian struck out four in 2.1 perfect innings, showing no ill effects of the shoulder injury that sidelined him earlier in the season. Zack Weiss and David Berg each hurled a scoreless inning, too, giving UCLA something to take away from a 11-0 game that was long lost.
The Bruins finally got on the scoreboard in the eighth, unsurprisingly through Kramer. He was hit by a pitch to start the inning and took second on a wild pitch before a groundout let him take third. From there, a Brett Urabe sacrifice fly was all it took to score Kramer, but it was too little too late.
UCLA doomed themselves in the early innings when their first three pitchers all struggled and they failed to convert with men on base. From there, it was just about getting to the finish line, which they did, without the weekend's momentum they entered the game with.