Last night, the UCLA Baseball team defeated Utah 7-3 in the first game of this weekend’s series. Griffin Canning allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 10 en route to his 6th win of the season. Utah starter Jayson Rose (7-3) took the loss.
But it was the Bruin offense, not the Bruin pitching which won this game.
In the bottom of the first, Michael Toglia singled to right, moving Sean Bouchard to second, but a fielding error by Ute right fielder Josh Rose allowed Bouchard to score and give UCLA a 1-0 lead.
In the second inning, Jack Stronach hit a solo homer to make it 2-0. The Bruins then relied upon small ball to score to more runs making it 4-0 when Bouchard singled home Daniel Rosica. That would prove to be the game-winning run, but it didn’t stop Utah from bouncing back in the top of the third with a three-run home run by Dallas Carroll that made it 4-3.
UCLA added two insurance runs in the fifth when Stronach doubled scoring Bouchard and Toglia and they added one more in the sixth when Bouchard drove in Brett Stephens on a fielder’s choice. That gave the Bruins a 7-3 lead and that would be the final score as Canning shut the Utes out in the final three innings to earn the win.
When the teams take the field again tonight at 6pm, Jake Bird (4-3, 2.95 ERA) will be on the mound for the Bruins in just his third home start of the season. Considering that Bird is a junior, this could be his final home start for UCLA. He will face sophomore Riley Ottesen (4-3, 4.86 ERA) who will start for the Utes.