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UCLA Falls Short Against UC Santa Barbara, 5-4

Jeff Gelalich didn't get enough help to get the Bruins a W (Photo Credit: <a href="" target="new">Scott Wu</a>)
Jeff Gelalich didn't get enough help to get the Bruins a W (Photo Credit: Scott Wu)

The momentum of a five-game win streak has quickly turned into a two-game losing streak for the Bruins. A game earlier in the season against Cal Poly was canceled due to rain so UCLA scheduled a game against UC Santa Santa Barbara for Wednesday to make up the game in the schedule. After the Gauchos got the better of the Bruins, 5-4, at Jackie Robinson Stadium, maybe that decision doesn't look as good anymore. Now UCLA sits at 27-18 on the season heading into a non-conference series against a surprising Cal St. Bakersfield team this weekend.

The UCLA pitchers did their part, surrendering just two unearned runs on four hits, but the defense failed them. Five errors led to three unearned runs and undoubtedly extra stress on the five Bruin pitchers. Scott Griggs took the loss for four innings of three run, two earned, ball in which he allowed just two hits and struck out five. Brandon Lodge allowed two unearned runs in two innings, while Mitchell Bracom went two-thirds scoreless. Ryan Deeter retired all four batters he faced and Nick Vander Tuig struck out two in a perfect ninth.

While the offense had their opportunities, once again it was a case of not getting the job done with men in scoring position. Twice the Bruins left the bases loaded without a man across as they turned nine hits and six walks into just four runs. Jeff Gelalich led the way at the plate with a 3-4, walk, run, RBI effort. Beau Amaral chipped in with two hits and two RBI, while Adrian Williams was the only other Bruin with multiple hits, going 2-2 with a sacrifice bunt.

It didn't take long for UCLA to get on the scoreboard. Gelalich started the game with a double and Amaral followed with an infield single. When Cody Regis lifted a fly ball to center with one out, Gelalich was able to tag and scored from third to give the Bruins an early lead.

The second inning brought UCLA's first missed opportunity. Kevin Williams walked with two out and Adrian Williams singled to put two on, but both were left on base.

An inning later Regis walked with two out and Cody Keefer doubled before a Marc Navarro walked loaded the bases. Again though, the Bruins could cash in and this time three men were left on base.

The missed opportunities hurt the Bruins in the fourth when the Gauchos grabbed the lead for good. Consecutive one-out walked put two on before a single scored a run. Amaral's throw to the plate got away on the play and his throwing error allowed the runners to move up 90 feet to second and third. A Griggs wild pitch scored another run, then a ground out scored one more to make it 3-1 UCSB.

UCLA answered in the bottom half of the inning with a lead off walk by Kevin Williams. Adrian Williams bunted him over to second and Gelalich came through with a RBI single to cut the Gauchos' lead to 3-2.

The Gaucho sixth inning started with an error by Regis and was followed by a walk. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, but UCSB got the key two-out single that scored a pair to stretch their lead to 5-2.

Two walks and a Gelalich singled loaded up the bases for the Bruins in the eighth inning with two outs and finally UCLA got a two-out hit. Amaral singled to right, scoring a pair, but he was thrown out trying to take second and the inning came to an end with the Bruins trailing 5-4.

A 1-2-3 ninth inning brought the game to a close and for the second time in as many nights, UCLA had been taken down to halt any momentum they had from their five-game win streak.