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Bruins. Beavers. Rubber Match. Who Will Take the Series?

UCLA (22-6; 9-2 PAC 12) evened the series last night, with a very solid, 4-1 victory.

UCLA shortstop and lead-off hitter, Kevin Kramer.
UCLA shortstop and lead-off hitter, Kevin Kramer.

Grant Watson, Kevin Kramer, Grant Dyer, and Dave Berg, among others, all chipped in last night in a UCLA 4-1 win over the Oregon State Beavers (22-8; 5-3 PAC 12). Watson (5-2) pitched 6 innings of 3 hit, no run ball, striking out 6. Grant extended his UCLA record for left-hander wins to 27. Kramer was 2 for 5, and both were for huge, 2 out RBI, with a run scoring single up the middle in the 4th and a double to left in the 6th to pick up Christoph Bono. Grant Dyer came on to pitch for the last out in the 7th, as Tucker Forbes got roughed up by the Beavers for one run in the top of the 7th, and Dyer struck out the side in the top of the 8th. Dave Berg came on to pitch for the 9th, and also struck out the side. Berg was particularly filthy. The Beavs were clearly confused against Dyer and Berg in the 8th and 9th, respectively.

The mistakes that the Bruins made on Friday were the ones made by Oregon State last night. To some extent, it looked like the teams switched uniforms between days. It will be interesting to see which teams show up tonight at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Scotty, our resident Beaver Buddy, has been joining us "in the late innings" for some interesting banter. For example, Scotty thinks tonight's pitcher for the Bruins, freshman, Griffin Canning, sounds like the torture of a mythological beast. Think about it . . . there you go.

Speaking of Canning, since UCLA Head Coach, John Savage, went with Griffin two weeks ago as his Sunday starter, he has gone 2-0, both UCLA wins, and has thrown 11 innings, going 6 solid innings at home on the road at Washington State and 5 innings at home against Utah. Canning has given up some runs, but has gotten good run support from his offense in his Sunday starts, so the Bruins might need to get the bats going even better today than they were earlier in the series. They will have their work cut out for them. Oregon State sends undefeated junior, Travis Eckert (3-0; 2.80 ERA), to the mound. UCLA also needs to cool off the Beaver's designated hitter, Gabe Clark, who is 4 for 7 in the series.

The series is on the line. Which team will be mentally tougher?  The Bruins would love to take this series, retain sole possession of first place in the PAC 12, and grab some momentum going into next week's showdown on "the road" in L.A. against top-ranked, just$c*. The Beavs would like to cement their status in the upper echelon of the PAC 12 and a series win on the road against the Bruins would be a large feather in their cap come tournament selection time. It should be fun.

It will be a beautiful day for baseball at Jackie Robinson Stadium. First pitch is at 4 p.m. If you can make it out, enjoy a beautiful afternoon. If you cannot, you can watch on the PAC 12 Network, follow the UCLA live internet audio feed, or follow live stats.

This is your UCLA Bruin v. Oregon State Beaver baseball Game 3 open thread. Go Bruins!!!!