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Bruins Kiss Regional Chances Goodbye With Costly 10th Inning Error

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UCLA entered the final weekend of regular season play needing to take all four games to qualify for a regional. Win number one of that four was right in the Bruins' hands, but a tenth inning error did UCLA in as they lost to #1 UC Irvine, 5-4, in 10 innings. Gerrit Cole picked up the loss in 0.1 innings of relief and Eric Pettis earned the win with two innings of one inning relief.

UCLA was first to light up the scoreboard with a first inning run. Blair Dunlap began the game with a single and after advancing to second on a ground out, Casey Haerther hit a two-out single to right, scoring Dunlap.

The Bruins' starter Garett Claypool allowed a leadoff double in the second and a second double, two batters later, scored a run to even the game at 1-1.

UCLA reclaimed the lead in the third inning with a pair of runs. Steve Rodriguez began the inning with a single, took second on a ground out, then scored on a single by Gino Aielli. After Cody Decker was hit by a pitch and Haerther grounded out, Justin Uribe was intentionally walked to load the bases. Tyler Rahmatulla got ahead in the count, 3-1, then singled back up the middle to plate the Bruins' second run of the inning and put them ahead, 3-1.

Claypool cruised into the sixth inning, but it was there he ran into trouble. After allowing a one-out single, Claypool allowed a two-run home run that tied the game, 3-3. After getting one more out, Claypool was pulled, having gone 5.2 innings and allowed three runs on four hits.

The game went into extra innings and in the 10th inning, Decker hit his 20th home run of the season to right center field, which gave UCLA a 4-3 advantage.

Gavin Brooks, who had been in the game since the beginning of the seventh inning, went back to the mound in the bottom of the tenth and got an out before allowing a double. At that point, head coach John Savage called on Cole to make his first ever relief appearance. The freshman got the first batter he saw to ground out, although the runner advanced to third on the play. Cole then got the next batter to ground to shortstop, where Gallego made an error to allow the game to continue and tying run to score. Following a wild pitch that allowed the runner to move to second, Cole surrendered a single that brought home the winning run.

No Bruin batter recorded a multi-hit game at Anteater Ballpark, while Aielli and Chris Giovinazzo were the only batters not to strikeout. Decker's home run was not only his 20th of the season, but it extended his hitting streak to 12 games.

The Bruins now sit at 26-27 and will close out the season with three Pac-10 contests on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at #3 Arizona St. in Tempe, Arizona.