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UCLA Baseball Drops Opener; Looks to Rebound Against Stanford

The Bruins are seeking to even up the series tonight on the road.

UCLA's Brett Stephens
UCLA's Brett Stephens

The UCLA Bruins baseball team dropped a disappointing contest to the Stanford Cardinal last night in Palo Alto, 5-1. UCLA (29-9; 14-5 PAC 12) mustered only three hits and scored only one run against starting pitcher, Brett Hanewich, who went the distance for the Cardinal. Hanewich flummoxed the Bruin bats all night long, striking out nine. After Stanford (18-21; 5-11 PAC 12) went up 5-1 in the fifth inning, UCLA never threatened again.

UCLA starter, James Kaprielian, had one of his worst outings as a Bruin, giving up a career-high 12 hits, and allowing six runs (five earned) in five and one-third innings. Although the Bruins’ bullpen put out the fire and did not allow any additional runs, the damage was done and UCLA’s hitters could not get anything going in the late innings to make a game of it.

Most of the damage was done in Stanford’s four run fifth inning, where the Cardinal sent nine to the dish, with the runs scored in the following course of events: walk, bunt single, single, error, single, single, single, sacrifice fly. As a matter of fact, all of the Cardinal’s hits were singles. UCLA did not do itself any favors with the glove, committing two errors in the game. Conversely, Stanford made a number of excellent defensive plays to keep the Bruins at bay. As mentioned in Bruins Nation’s series preview, although Stanford is in the cellar in the PAC 12 Conference, they have been playing much better baseball of late, and are very dangerous, especially at home at the “Sunken Diamond.” UCLA has not won a series in Palo Alto since 2007.

The Bruins will need to shake off last night’s demoralizing loss, and bounce back tonight in order to even the series. The all-time winningest left-handed pitcher for the Bruins, senior Grant Watson (6-3, 2.15 ERA), will take the mound for UCLA. Stanford will counter with right-handed junior, Marc Brakeman, RHP (1-1, 3.15 ERA). UCLA’s leading hitters, Kevin Kramer, Ty Moore, and Chris Keck will look to rebound from last night’s collective 0-12 performance. Stanford will try to continue to do exactly what they did last night—hit well, pitch well, and play good defense.

First pitch is at 7 p.m. PT, and the game is televised on ESPNU. James Ramey and Tim Wilhelm will have the call via live online streaming audio. This is a very important game for the Bruins with respect to the PAC 12 Conference standings, and from confidence standpoint. It cannot be easy getting dominated like they did by the last place team in conference, even if Stanford is a “good” last place team. Let’s hope that the Bruins dig deep and get it done tonight on The Farm.

This is your UCLA vs. Stanford Game Two open thread.

Go Bruins!!!!