The UCLA baseball team (30-11, 14-5 PAC 12) was bamboozled last night by Arizona Wildcat junior right hander, Cody Deason (5-4), who threw a five hit, complete game shutout against the Bruins. Deason was masterful in the Wildcats’ 2-0 victory, striking out eleven UCLA batters. The loss snapped the Bruins’ eight-game winning streak.
Nick Quintana gave Arizona all that it needed on the night, crushing a solo home run to straight away center field to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. Arizona would tack on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning, when the combination of a walk, a double, and a Jake Bird wild pitch allowed another run, resulting in the final 2-0 score.
UCLA had a few chances to score on the night, but could not convert. The best chance was in the top of the sixth, when the score was still 1-0, and the Bruins had an opportunity to answer Quintana’s dinger. Jermey Ydens hit an infield single to the hole at shortstop, and, after Kevin Kendall flew out, Chase Strumpf singled to left center, moving Ydens to third base.
The Bruins had runners on the corners with only one out, with Michael Toglia coming to the plate. Toglia, who did not look great in his two previous at-bats, both swinging strikeouts on breaking balls down and out of the zone, struck out a third time in the same fashion. Ugh. Jack Stronach grounded out out to end the UCLA threat and the inning.
The Bruins threatened again in the ninth, with Deason tiring and allowing a walk and a single, putting runners on first and second with one out. But Daniel Amaral flew out on a pretty sliding catch in foul territory by Arizona right fielder Matt Frazier, and Garrett Mitchell grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
Jake Bird (5-3) went the distance for UCLA, but was the hard loser allowing two runs in eight innings. The loss must sting for the Bruins but one must tip his or her cap to Deason on what was the best outing of his collegiate career.
The Bruins and Wildcats are back in action tonight, with UCLA looking to even the series and Arizona seeking an RPI-bolstering series win. First pitch at 7 p.m. PT. UCLA freshman Zach Pettway (7-1, 2.96 ERA) will take the hill for the Bruins, and Michael Flynn (5-3, 4.29 ERA) will get the start for the ‘Cats.
This is your UCLA Bruins baseball versus Arizona Wildcats game two open thread.