The UCLA Bruin baseball team rode the right arm of sophomore, Griffin Canning, last night, and he answered with perhaps the best outing of his UCLA career, going the distance for the Bruins and securing the shutout victory, 1-0.
Canning's numbers were spectacular: 9 innings pitched, six hits, ten strikeouts, no runs, and just one walk, on 126 pitches. He was the story of the game, as was Washington's pitcher, Noah Bremer, who also went the distance, giving up six hits and surrendering only one run. Bremer was the hard luck loser.
Take a look at the video clip below, courtesy of the PAC 12 Network, of each of the ten Griffin Canning strikeout pitches. Go ahead, watch it over and over. It never gets old.
That is just filthy. By my count, Canning struck out five batters looking at wicked curveballs starting outside the zone and dropping in for called strikes. He struck two swinging at curveballs in the in the dirt. And he struck out three batters looking at fastballs that painted the black part of the plate for called strikes.
The UW batters, who were hitting .286 as a team before this game, had no idea what to expect and were totally off balance. John Naff, UDub's number three hitter, struck out four times in four at bats. UDub's DH and cleanup hitter, Gage Matuszak, who is hitting .305 with 4 home runs, struck out three times in four at bats. When you strike out the number three and four hitters seven out of eight times, that is quite an accomplishment.
What a masterful performance by Griffin Canning. Major tip of the hat to him.
UCLA scored the sole run of the game in the top of the 6th inning. Brett Stephens started things off with a one out double down the right field line. After an intentional walk was issued to Kort Peterson, Sean Bouchard singled through the infield into right field, loading the bases. Eric Filia launched a fly ball to the warning track in right, which easily scored Stephens, who tagging up from third on the sacrifice fly.
Despite less-than-stellar numbers from Stephens this season, UCLA Head Coach John Savage moved Brett back to the leadoff spot, and the move paid dividends, with Stephens going 2 for 4 on the night, and scoring the sole run of the game. If Brett can get his groove going in the second half of the season, it would be a tremendous boost to UCLA.
The win raises UCLA's record to 15-16, 6-7 in the PAC 12. The Huskies drop to 17-12, 7-6 in the PAC 12. Side note: UCLA is 2-0 when wearing throwback uniforms honoring Jackie Robinson this season.
UCLA will try to secure the series win today, which would also even their season record and PAC 12 record at .500.
Junior right hander, Grant Dyer (1-2, 5.79 ERA) gets the start for the Bruins. Freshman righty, Joe DeMers (2-2, 4.81 ERA), will take the hill for the Huskies.
Can UCLA take advantage of the relative inexperience of DeMers? Can Grant Dyer put in a performance similar to Canning's against Washington's potent lineup? These are the major questions that will be answered when the teams take the field today at 1 p.m. PT.
Today's game is televised on PAC 12 Washington. John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm will have the call via streaming online audio, and one can also follow tonight’s game via live statistics, courtesy of the University of Washington.
This is your UCLA v. Washington baseball game two open thread. Please follow along with the action and post your thoughts in the comment section.