The UCLA Bruin baseball team (35-19, 18-11 PAC 12) lost, 4-1, to the Oregon State Beavers (44-9-1, 20-8-1 PAC 12) yesterday, dropping its third straight road series to close out the regular season. The Bruins are an awful 1-7 in their last eight road games.
First pitch for UCLA’s final game of the regular season is today at 2 p.m. PT. UCLA, looking to avoid the sweep with a win, will finish a disappointing fourth in the PAC 12, no matter the outcome of the game today.
Worse, as a result of this series loss, the Bruins will not be hosting a regional to begin postseason play next week. Their current RPI is #31 and even a win today will come close to being enough (a series win might have been enough).
UCLA will likely be a #2 seed in a regional far, far away from the friendly confines of Westwood. Given the Bruins recent performances on the road, it is hard to envision a scenario where they advance against a tough opponent at home.
The Bruins were plagued by one bad inning, with Oregon State scoring all of its runs in the 6th inning. UCLA, freshman, Zach Pettway (8-4) who had pitched well up until that point, was tiring and gave up two walks and hit a batter, all with one out. Head Coach John Savage went to the bullpen and brought in Ryan Mora, who induced a RBI ground out, but then surrendered a three run home run to Kyle Nobach, to put Oregon State up 4-0.
That was all that the Beavers would get, but UCLA would only get one run, on a Jeremy Ydens single in the 7th inning. Kevin Kendall, the potential tying run came to the plate, but grounded out to end the Bruin threat. UCLA then went quiet into the night, retired in order in the 8th and 9th innings.
The Bruins have been terrible in Corvallis of late. Going back to the series in 2016, over the span of the last five games that the Bruins have played at Goss Stadium, UCLA has scored only one run! And that was yesterday! Coach Savage, is there something in the water up there?
Today, Ryan Garcia (6-1, 2.59 ERA) will take the hill for the Bruins, who will try to avoid the sweep. Oregon State has not announced a starting pitcher. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
Although the Bruins do not really have anything except Pride to fight for today, the Beavers, on the other hand, have everything to play for: an opportunity to win the PAC 12 conference and, potentially, earn the number one seed in postseason play. Stanford still has a half game lead on the Beavers, and the Cardinal can clinch the PAC 12 with either a victory today at Washington or a Bruin victory. OSU needs the sweep and for the Huskies to get a sweep of their own in Seattle to win the crown.
Stanford and Oregon State are still in the mix for the top national seed. The other team with a chance to clinch the top national seed, the Florida Gators, lost today to LSU in the SEC quarterfinals, are eliminated from the SEC tournament, and are 1-6 in their last seven games. So, with a win over UCLA today, OSU has a shot at the top seed in the 64 team tournament, especially if they earn the sweep today.
Predictions: I predict that Oregon State completes the sweep, and wins the PAC 12, as I also predict that Stanford loses at Washington. I predict that Florida, the SEC darlings, still get the top seed in the NCAA tournament. And I predict that UCLA limps into the postseason and ends up somewhere in SEC country, probably Gainesville.
This is your UCLA Bruin baseball versus Oregon State Beavers game 3 open thread.