The shoe was on the other foot last night, as the UCLA baseball team rebounded in dominating fashion from their 5-1 loss to Stanford on Friday night, shutting out the Cardinal, 10-0, to even the series. The win keeps the Bruins (30-9; 15-5 PAC 12) in sole possession of first place in the PAC 12 Conference, one game ahead of the Arizona State Sun Devils. It was as if the teams switched uniforms after Friday night, as the Bruins hit well, pitched well, and fielded well, all things that they did not execute on Friday, and all things that The Cardinal (18-22; 5-12 PAC 12) did well on Friday. A comparison of respective scoreboards is illustrative:
Grant Watson threw 6 and 1/3 innings of scoreless ball, scattering four hits, to earn his seventh win of the season against three losses. Watty, who threw 91 pitches, 62 for strikes, is now tied with Adam Plutko as the all-time second winningest pitcher UCLA history. In what is becoming more and more routine when the Bruins have the lead through six innings, Tucker Forbes finished the seventh, Grant Dyer pitched the eighth, and Dave Berg set ‘em down in order to end the game in the ninth. Berg has not allowed a run in PAC 12 play in 23 innings, and is a mere three appearances away from breaking the NCAA record for most career appearances.
At the dish, UCLA received strong performances from Luke Persico (3-5 with a double, 1 RBI, and 1 run scored), Chris Keck (2-3 with 2 walks, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, and 3 runs scored), Darrell Miller, Jr. (2-4 with a walk, 3 RBI, and 1 run scored), and Trent Chatterton (2-4 with a walk, 1 RBI, and 1 run scored). After opening up a two run lead through five innings, with tallies in the third and fourth innings, the Bruins broke the game open with three runs in the sixth inning, chasing Stanford starter, Marc Brakeman, who took the loss. UCLA added another three runs in the seventh inning, to extend its lead to 8-0, and effectively ending the game with Forbes, Dyer, and Berg set to pitch the final innings.
Stanford didn’t do themselves any favors in the field, committing five errors, which was a far cry from their stellar defensive performance on Friday night. Of the Bruins’ ten runs, only four were earned as a result of the Cardinal’s miscues in the field. Obviously, Stanford’s errors cost them dearly.
Yet again, UCLA needs a Sunday victory to secure a series win, as has been the case in their last three PAC 12 Conference series, against Oregon State, just$C*, and UC Berkeley. Game time is set for 2 p.m. PT, and the game will be televised on the PAC 12 Network. You can also follow James Ramey and Tim Wilhelm calling the game via online streaming audio.
UCLA’s phenom freshman, Griffin Canning (6-1; 2.63 ERA), will toe the rubber for the Bruins. At the time this article was written, Stanford had not announced its starting pitcher. This rubber match is significant for two reasons: (1) UCLA has not won a series in Palo Alto since 2007, losing its last four series there; and (2) UCLA has not lost a series all season, and will look to continue that streak today.
This is your UCLA vs. Stanford Game Three open thread.