The UCLA Bruin Baseball team (6-7) is like a game of "whack-a-mole" right now. Right when you think you have one problem licked, another pops up in its place. The issue with the Bruins last night was their inability to get the timely hit. UCLA hit the ball well in the midweek game, but got terrible pitching. If it is not one thing with this team, it is another.
The Bruins stranded sixteen runners in last night's game, including what would have been the tying two runs on second and third in the bottom of the 9th inning.
UCLA also left the bases loaded in the first, second, fourth, and fifth innings. Ouch. The Bruins left two on in the 6th. A timely hit here or there and this could have been a completely different game and probably a Bruin victory.
Griffin Canning didn't have his best outing, allowing seven runs (only four earned), and took the loss in 6 and 2/3 innings pitched. Jon Olsen pitched well out of the UCLA bullpen, throwing scoreless 8th and 9th innings, giving the Bruins a chance in the 9th.
The teams face off again today at 2 p.m. PT. at Jackie Robinson Stadium. UCLA has not officially indicated who will take the hill as starting pitcher for the Bruins, but @UCLABaseball has posted this:
That leads me to believe that Head Coach John Savage will start Jake Bird today, who also got the Saturday start last week.
The Texas Longhorns (7-7) will start senior, Ty Culbreth (2-1, 1.71 ERA). A lefty, Culbreth will pose problems for a UCLA lineup that is heavy on left handers.
Frankly, I am not a huge fan of today's match-up. UCLA has great uncertainty on Saturdays now that Canning has moved to the Friday slot. Maybe the combination of Jake Bird and Scott Burke (who has pitched well this season and took over for Bird after a few innings last week) can get UCLA into the 6th or 7th inning. Maybe Coach Savage goes in a completely different direction. On the other side of the coin, the 'Horns' starting pitcher, Ty Culbreth, is a senior veteran and might be too much for the Bruin bats to handle.
This is your UCLA v. Texas Baseball open thread.