The UCLA Bruin Baseball team (9-7; 1-0 PAC 12) beat Washington State (7-10; 0-1 PAC 12) yesterday evening in the PAC 12 opener for both teams. Griffin Canning threw eight innings, striking out five, scattering six hits and giving up two earned runs. Brian Gadsby came in to secure the save, but not before walking the based loaded, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate. On the first pitch he saw from Gadsby, Trek Stemp, one of the Cougars' better hitters, lined out to right center field, ending the game.
UCLA, who have now won three straight, jumped out to the early lead on Christoph Bono's solo home run in the second inning. The Bruins plated another run in the third inning, on singles by Bono and Trent Chatterton, and a Brett Stephens' sacrifice fly, putting the Bruins up 2-0.
Wazzou was able to manufacture a run in the top of the sixth inning on a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and a single. In the bottom of the sixth, UCLA answered back with three runs of their own, two of which scored on Sean Bouchard's two-run triple, pushing the score to 5-1. Canning gave up a solo home run in the seventh, making the score 5-2, which accounted for all of the scoring in the game.
Today, UCLA welcomes Grant Dyer back to the rotation. After missing two starts, Dyer fills the Saturday starter role this week. Before his injury, Dyer was 0-1 in two starts, with a 5.14 ERA in seven innings pitched. His loss (and all of his runs conceded) came against a very good North Carolina team on opening day. The following week, he threw two scoreless innings against Cal Poly before being lifted due to his injury. His strikeout to walk ratio is excellent, with nine Ks to two BBs. I am confident that Dyer can return with an good outing for UCLA today.
The Cougars will send true freshman right hander Ryan Ward to the hill against UCLA. Ward is 1-0 with a 4.20 ERA. Ward has started four games this season for Wazzou, thrown 15 innings, and struck out 21. Can UCLA force Ward into some freshman mistakes? Or will he continue to be solid for WSU?
First pitch is at 2 p.m. PT (I know, the game will overlap with women's hoops at Pauley, with a 3:35 PT tip-off). Unlike yesterday's game (and tomorrow's game), this contest will not be televised. You can follow along with John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm via UCLA's online audio stream, and follow via online statistics.
This is your UCLA Bruin Baseball vs. Washington State Game 2 open thread.