After Friday night’s extra inning loss, I said that the UCLA Bruin baseball team needed a team effort against the #1 ranked Oregon State Beavers. The Bruins delivered, both from the plate and the pitcher’s mound, in a 7-1 victory over OSU, handing the Beavers only their third loss of the season.
UCLA (18-17, 10-7 PAC 12) pounced early on Oregon State (31-3, 15-2 PAC 12), producing four runs in the bottom of the 1st inning. Brett Stephens, who was 3-4 on the day, started things off with a single to right field. After a sacrifice bunt, Sean Bouchard delivered with an RBI single up the middle. 1-0 UCLA.
Kyle Cuellar then singled up the middle, moving Bouchard over to third, who then scored on a Chase Strumpf sac fly. 2-0 Bruins.
Freshmen, Michael Toglia and Jack Stronach delivered with back-to back doubles with two outs, each driving in another run. 4-0 UCLA at the end of one inning.
The Bruins would add two more in the bottom of the 2nd inning, on a two run double by Bouchard, driving in UCLA catcher, Gavin Johns, and Stephens, both of whom had singled earlier in the inning. That made it 6-0 UCLA. OSU starter, Bryce Fehmel, didn’t make it out of the 2nd inning, lasting only 1.1 innings, allowing six runs on seven UCLA hits. Fehmel took the loss.
UCLA would add another run in the bottom of the 3rd on a laser beam of a home run over the left field fence by Ryan Kreidler. That made it 7-0 Bruins.
Meanwhile, UCLA starting pitcher, Moises Ceja, the senior and a former walk on, pitched the game of his career, getting the win. Ceja scattered just four hits and did not allow a run in six innings pitched, his career high. Ceja also struck out six, also a career high. And he did it against the #1 team in the nation. Huge tip of the cap to Moises!
The Bruin bullpen did well, with Scott Burke allowing only one OSU run in the 8th inning. Oregon State got it in a strange way, as a runner reached first base on a third strike wild pitch that got away from Johns. That Beaver later scored on a Nick Magrigal double. Nick Scheidler also showed well, pitching a scoreless inning of relief, getting out of a bit of a jam in the 7th by inducing a double play ball.
Getting a win against Oregon State is huge. A series win would be epic. The Bruins have a chance to do that today. First pitch at Jackie Robinson Stadium is at 1 p.m. PT. UCLA will send Jon Olsen (2-1, 4.02 ERA) to the mound. Olsen had a nice outing last week in a no decision. Hopefully he can pick up where he left off.
The Bruins will have their work cut out for them on offense against a Sunday starter who would be the Friday starter for most teams. Oregon State’s Jake Thompson, who is a dominant 8-0 with a 1.03 ERA, will take the hill for the Beavers.
This is your UCLA Bruin baseball versus Oregon State Beavers game three open thread.