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First Inning Sends The Bruins To 6-1 Loss

Blair Dunlap was the lone UCLA hitter to record more than one hit on the evening (Photo Credit: Official Site)
Blair Dunlap was the lone UCLA hitter to record more than one hit on the evening (Photo Credit: Official Site)

For eight innings, UCLA and Cal St. Fullerton were even. They played to a draw for eight of the nine innings, but that one inning made all the difference. Fullerton scored five runs in the first inning and that's all it took for them to win their ninth game in their last 11, while the Bruins dropped to 23-2 on the year with both of their losses coming in the last three games. Over 1,500 fans at Jackie Robinson Stadium saw the Bruins give up five in the first inning and then one run apiece the rest of the way gave the contest its 6-1 final score.

Garett Claypool had far and away his worst outing of the season for the Bruins. The senior, who entered the game with a 1.21 ERA, allowed six runs, five of which were earned, in five innings of work to take his first loss of the season. Mitchell Beacom allowed one hit and no runs in 0.2 innings after entering for Claypool and then Erik Goeddel struck out three in 3.1 one-hit, scoreless innings to finish out the contest.

While the Titans scored six runs to the Bruins' one and outhit the Bruins 7-5, that does not mean UCLA did not get runners on base. In fact, the Bruins had little trouble putting runners on the sacks, but they could not bring them home. UCLA left ten runners on base in the game to just five for Fullerton. Blair Dunlap led the way at the plate with a 2-5 effort and two doubles and Steve Rodriguez turned a double into a run scored.

The first inning was one problem after another for Claypool. Things got off to a rough start when he allowed a lead off double. It looked as if things would get better after Claypool got a sacrifice bunt for out number one on the inning, but a home run to right field made it 2-0 and another home run to right made it 3-0. There was another double thrown in before yet another home run to right field, capping a five run first inning to put the Titans in front, 5-0.

Claypool battled his command the rest of the way, walking four, but he did not allow a hit after the first inning. He also did not strike out a single batter all game long as the Titans showed patience and great bat control against the UCLA hurler.

The fourth inning presented the Bruins a chance to score, but after two walks and a hit by pitch juiced the bases, Chris Giovinazzo hit into an inning ending fielder's choice to get the Titans out of danger.

It took until the fifth for the Bruins to get on the scoreboard when Rodriguez got things going with a double down the left field line. A wild pitch moved the catcher over to third and one more wild pitch brought him across for a run. Things got better for the Bruins when they put runners on the corners with one out, but Brett Krill struck out for the second out of the inning. After Tyerl Rahmatulla stole second to put two men in scoring position, Cody Regis struck out as well to end the inning.

The Titans got that run back just a half inning later after Claypool walked a batter and Beacom came in to relieve him. Beacom bobbled a sacrifice bunt for an error and a single with two outs scored a run for a 6-1 Titans lead.

The 6-1 lead would hold as the Bruins struggled to get much going against the Fullerton bullpen and the game ended in a UCLA loss, sending yet another capacity crowd home unhappy.