The UCLA Bruin Baseball team’s (20-19) hopes of a non-conference series sweep evaporated quickly yesterday afternoon, as the Cal Poly Mustangs (19-22) hit UCLA starting pitcher, Moises Ceja, early and often, and ultimately prevailed, 6-3. Both teams will aim for the series win today at 1 p.m. PT at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Ceja (2-4) had his worst start of the season, lasting just 3 and 2⁄3 innings, giving up nine hits and five runs, four of which were earned. Most of the damage came in the third inning, when the Mustangs, who only had ten home runs on the season coming into the game, hit two in the same inning, one a solo shot and the other a two run dinger. Moises had trouble locating his fastball, and Cal Poly took advantage.
The Bruins fought to make it 5-3 after four innings, as Michael Toglia hit a two run shot over the right field wall. That was the closest that UCLA would get, as the Mustangs added a sixth run in the 9th inning to give their closer, Michael Clark, some extra breathing room as he recorded his 7th save of the season.
Frankly, UCLA was outplayed by the Mustangs, who registered 13 hits to UCLA’s six. UCLA has only managed 12 hits in the two games of this series against Big West competition. Wake up bats! Wake up!
Both teams will duel for the series win today. A series loss against middling Cal Poly would hurt UCLA’s post-season chances, which had been trending up going into the weekend. A series win for UCLA would keep the Bruins on track. Make no mistake, today’s game is a big one.
The Bruins will send Jon Olsen (2-1; 3.47 ERA) to the mound. Olsen pitched well against Oregon State last weekend in a no decision. I love his nasty curveball. Hopefully, he will have it working today. Cal Poly counters with Bobby Ay (1-3; 4.35 ERA). I have not seen Ay pitch this season but, on paper at least, it seems like UCLA could be poised to have a big day at the plate.
First pitch is at 1 p.m. PT. The game will not be televised but you can follow the game via UCLA’s online streaming audio or via live stats.
This is your UCLA Bruin Baseball versus Cal Poly Mustangs game three (rubber match) open thread.