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Can UCLA Baseball Avoid A Utah Sweep?

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The Utes have beaten the Bruins two straight, including last night's game, 9-4. Kyle Molnar and the Bruins will look to salvage a win tonight.

Head Coach John Savage's Bruin baseball team has not rounded into form late this season
Head Coach John Savage's Bruin baseball team has not rounded into form late this season
© 2015 Steve Jacobs

Senior right hander, Dalton Carroll, went the distance for the Utah last night in Salt Lake City, allowing only five UCLA hits in a 9-4 victory for the Utes over the Bruins. The win clinches the series for the PAC 12 leading Utah Utes (16-22, 11-6 PAC 12).

UCLA falls to 10th in the PAC 12 (19-21, 9-11 PAC 12). The Bruins have lost the first three games of their critical five game road trip and need to right the ship rimmediately. UCLA only has three more PAC 12 series and after tonight, only 15 more total games to make a push for the postseason.

Frankly, it is going to take a Herculean effort for this UCLA team to make the postseason at this point and the improvement I anticipated late in the season has not come to fruition. The goodwill UCLA created with the Oregon sweep last weekend has melted away with the current three game losing streak in which all of the blemishes of this team have been on display.

UCLA got on the board in the top of the 1st inning yesterday, care of two walks and a two run RBI single by Kort Peterson. Utah evened things up in the bottom of the 2nd, on a two run home run by Josh Rose.

The Bruins broke the tie in the top of the 4th inning to take a 4-2 lead, on a hit batter and two singles, one by Trent Chatterton and one by Luke Persico.

After that, it was all Utah, who notched three runs on the bottom of the fifth inning on five hits, to increase the lead to 5-4. The Utes chased UCLA starter Grant Dyer, who did not have a good outing yesterday after his very impressive start last week.

The UCLA bullpen was poor, aside from Hunter Virant, who threw 1 and 1/2 scoreless innings, Scott Burke was not sharp, allowing two runs with two outs in the bottom of the 7th, when the Utes to increased their lead to 7-4. Nathan Hadley was also roughed up, giving up a two run home run in the bottom of the 8th, resulting in the final score of 9-4.

UCLA will try to salvage its dignity tonight at 6 p.m. PT. Freshman righty Kyle Molnar (3-4, 3.59 ERA) will start for UCLA. Left hander Josh Lapiana (2-4, 4.68 ERA) will get the call for the Utes.

The game is not televised, but you can follow via streaming audio, via Utah's live video stream or via live stats.

This is your UCLA v. Utah game three open thread. Go Bruins!