In yesterday’s series preview article, I mentioned how, like John Savage coached UCLA teams of the past, the 2018 squad was doing well in the pitching and defense departments. Well, my apologies to the UCLA Bruin baseball team for jinxing them.
Last night at Evans Diamond in Northern California, the Bruins fell to the UC Berkeley Golden Bears, 5-2, and the difference was three unearned runs in a four run 4th inning. UCLA falls to 15-6 (5-2 PAC 12). Berkeley moves to 15-9 (2-5 PAC 12).
The critical juncture occurred with two outs in the 4th inning. UCLA starting pitcher, Jake Bird, had already allowed a run in the 3rd and one run in the 4th, making the game 2-0 in favor of Berkeley, but he had two outs with a runner on first. The next batter grounded to the left side of the infield. UCLA shortstop, Ryan Kreidler, could not make a play, and was charged with an error. Next up was the best hitter in the country, Andrew Vaughn. Bird working a full count, but Vaughn did what he has done all season, singling home a run. A hit by pitch loaded the bases, and then Bird allowed a single to Jonah Davis, which scored another two runs, giving Berkeley a commanding 5-0 lead. Vaughn and Davis both torched UCLA pitching, with Vaughn going 3 for 5 and Davis a perfect 4 for 4.
The Bruins got an RBI double from Kreidler in the 5th and a solo home run by Chase Strumpf in the 7th, but that was it for the Bruins. Of course, had UCLA not allowed three unearned runs, the teams could have been headed to extra innings.
UCLA will look for redemption today at 6 p.m. PT. Freshman righthander, Zach Pettway (4-0, 2.35 ERA), who has been marvelous for the Bruins this season, gets the start tonight. Berkeley will counter with sophomore righty Jared Horn (3-2, 4.81 ERA).
This is your UCLA Bruin baseball versus UC Berkeley Golden Bears game two open thread. Go Bruins!