The UCLA Baseball team (19-20, 9-10 PAC 12) dropped the series opener to the Utah Utes yesterday, 6-4. The Bruins will look to even the series, and the Utes will shoot for the series win, today at 11 a.m. PT.
There were two stories of the game. The first was UCLA's inability to get the timely hit. The Bruins stranded 13 runners on base, including two in the 7th inning (when the game was tied, 4-4), three in the 8th inning (UCLA had the bases loaded with one out and could not convert), and two in the 9th inning (the Bruins had runners on second and third with one out). A hit in any of these innings would have changed the game. This game was winnable, but UCLA could not get the job done.
The other story of the game was UCLA's self-inflicted wounds. Although Utah scored four runs in the second inning, they were aided by two Griffin Canning wild pitches, an error by Brett Urabe, and an error by Trent Chatterton. All four of Utah's runs in the second inning were unearned.
Canning (5-5) went the distance for the Bruins, throwing eight innings, and allowing two earned runs.
Brett Stephens led the Bruins with the lumber, going 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored. Daniel Rosica went 2 for 4, with a run scored. Although Eric Filia went 2 for 4, it was his strike out with one out and the bases loaded in the 8th inning that impacted the game the most. UCLA was trailing at the time, 5-4, and a single would have either tied the game or given UCLA the lead.
The second game of the series is today at 11 a.m. PT. Grant Dyer (2-2, 5.44 ERA) will take the hill for UCLA, who will need a strong performance from the junior to even the series. Utah counters with senior righty, Dalton Carroll (3-5, 4.94 ERA). Both pitchers have high ERAs, which could make for a lot of fireworks. Head Coach John Savage would likely prefer a low scoring affair, with Dyer putting in at least six or seven innings, given UCLA's challenges with their bullpen.
The game will not be televised, but you can follow along in several ways:
(1) Live audio stream with John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm;
(2) Live video stream via Utah; or
(3) Live stats.
This is your UCLA v. Utah Game Two open thread.