The struggles continue for UCLA after being swept by #16 Oklahoma and seeing their losing streak hit 10. The Bruins lost the first two games of the series by one run, dropping their record in one run games this year to 0-6. Now 2-10 on the season, the Bruins face a steep uphill climb to make a regional for the fourth consecutive year.
The series opener started off right when the Bruins got a run in the first. With two out Casey Haerther doubled to right center and two batters later Gabe Cohen singled up the middle to score him and the Bruins were ahead. In the fourth, the Bruins would strike again. Chris Giovinazzo was hit by a pitch to start the inning and after moving to second, scored on a single by Eddie Murray. UCLA looked primed to snap their losing streak, but yet again, they were burned by a big inning. In the sixth inning, Oklahoma led off with a home run and a walk. That ended starting pitcher Rob Rasmussen's day and Jason Novak came in. Novak allowed two bloop singles to begin his outing and the bases were loaded with nobody out. The next pitch found its way to the backstop, allowing a run to score and tie the game 2-2. That closed the book on Rasmussen who gave up two runs in five innings. It did not close the book on the inning though. The next Sooner bunted for a hit, giving Oklahoma a 3-2 lead and putting two on. After a strikeout, the Sooners broke the game open with a three run home run. A six run sixth inning turned a 2-0 UCLA lead into a 6-2 Sooner lead. The Bruins tried to make a comeback when Cody Decker hit a two run homer in the seventh and Gino Aielli hit a solo shot in the eighth, but that's all they managed and the Bruins lost 6-5.
Charles Brewer took the hill for the Bruins and gave them a solid outing. The junior struck out eight and gave up three runs in 6.1 innings, but exited the game down 3-1 as the only offense the Bruins could muster was a RBI double by Justin Uribe. The Bruins put together a rally in the eighth though. Decker singled and Cohen walked to lead off the inning. Both advanced 90 feet on a passed ball and Uribe notched his second and third RBI of the game when he singled both home to tie the game 3-3. Niko Gallego laid down a sacrifice bunt next, but an error by the Sooners allowed him to reach second and Uribe to take third. Tyler Rahmatulla grounded out next to plate Uribe and UCLA was up 4-3 with a runner on third. Next, Murray doubled to score Gallego, then came home himself when Blair Dunalp singled. In all, the Bruins picked up five runs on four hits in the inning and were ahead 6-3. The lead wouldn't last long though as Novak continued to struggle, allowing two in the eighth. After the two scored, Brendan Lafferty, who had a ERA under 0.80 entering the game, came in and allowed two more runs. All of a sudden, UCLA was behind again, 7-6. Trevor Bauer was able to get the Bruins out of the inning, but the damage was done and after going quietly in the ninth, UCLA lost 7-6.
Sunday's game got off to a rough start for Gerrit Cole. The freshman righty who was pushed back to Sunday in hopes of giving his blisters an extra day to heal never found a groove. He gave up two runs in the first, two more in the second, then two more unearned runs in the third. In all, Cole pitched three innings, gave up six runs, four earned on nine hits and struck out three. When Gavin Brooks took to the hill to begin the fourth inning in place of Cole, the Bruins trailed 6-1 as a Murray RBI double was all the Bruins had to show. UCLA did try to make a comeback when they scored one run in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, but within two was as close as they'd get. The Bruins fell 6-4 to the Sooners in the series finale, they tenth consecutive loss, but if they could take anything away from Sunday's loss it was the pitching of Brooks. The junior who had a ERA over 30 entering the game and was seemingly a lost cause came in for Cole and threw five hitless, shutout innings. Only two reached base on the southpaw, both by walk and he struck out five.
The Bruins will return home and get ready for a tough five game week. UCLA will welcome UC Santa Barbara to Jackie Robinson Stadium on Tuesday, then San Diego St. will visit on Wednesday. The Bruins are running out of time to begin a run if they want to make a regional and may be out of luck if they'd like to get an at-large bid. The Bruins will likely need to win the Pac 10 conference to make the postseason. The amount of wins necessary to get back in the at-large discussion would likely be enough to win the Pac 10 anyways so the Bruins will likely focus their eyes on the conference title at this point. Before they even think about that though, they need to get a win, any win.