The UCLA Bruin baseball team (34-17, 17-9 PAC 12) took game two and earned the series win over Oregon (25-26, 11-15 PAC 12) yesterday afternoon in a dominant performance at home, crushing the Ducks by the score of 15-1. The Bruins seek the series sweep today at 12 noon.
UCLA has bounced back nicely this week after losing six out of seven previous games. In beating Cal State Northridge on Tuesday night, and taking the first two games against the Ducks, the Bruins have outscored their opponents 42-7 in those three games.
Oregon was outclassed on the mound and at the plate yesterday afternoon, with the Bruins jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning on Jeremy Ydens’ solo home run to left field.
UCLA would score two more runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning, when Daniel Amaral doubled home Jack Stronach, with Amaral later scoring on a Garrett Mitchell infield single.
UCLA extended its lead in the 4th inning, courtesy of Ydens’ second home run of the day, this one to the opposite field. It was a three-run blast, picking up Will McInerny and Ryan Kreidler, and UCLA led 6-0.
The Bruins would plate three more in the 6th inning, with the big hit coming courtesy of Michael Toglia, a two run double. The Bruins led 9-0 after six innings.
UCLA would really break the game open in the 7th inning, batting around and scoring six runs, to extend UCLA’s lead to 15-0. Both McInerny and Toglia had RBI doubles.
Hitting from the lead-off position, Ydens enjoyed the best day of his UCLA career, going 3 for 4, with five RBI and three runs scored. The sophomore has been critical for the Bruins this year, starting 45 games and hitting .370. He gets my vote for the most improved player on the Bruins’ roster.
On the other side of the coin, UCLA’s starting pitcher Zach Pettway had a relatively easy time of things, throwing six plus innings, striking out seven, and allowing only one run, a solo home run in the top of the 7th inning on the first pitch of the inning. It would be Pettway’s 100th and last pitch of the game, as UCLA Head Coach John Savage gave Garrett Barker two innings of work. Michael Townend came in to pitch a scoreless 9th inning.
Pettway improved his record to 8-3 in his freshman season. It was a nice bounce back game for Zach after losing his last two starts, one a hard luck loss and the other the worst outing of his Bruin career.
Matt Mercer (5-6) took the loss for Oregon, surrendering seven earned runs in five and 1⁄3 innings. Most of the Duck bullpen did not fare better, collectively pouring fuel on the fire to the tune of eight runs in two and 2⁄3 innings.
The Bruins seek the series sweep today, with Ryan Garcia (5-1, 2.68 ERA) taking the mound for UCLA. Oregon will seek to salvage a win in the series, pinning its hopes on freshman lefty Kolby Somers (2-6, 4.12 ERA).
Finally, today is senior day at Jackie Robinson Stadium. UCLA will honor five players: Jake Bird, Daniel Rosica, Garrett Barker, Nathan Hadley, and Matt Walker. Congratulations to these Bruins and we here at BN wish them nothing but the best going forward in both baseball and life.
This is your UCLA Bruin baseball versus Oregon Ducks game three open thread.