With Sunday’s 6-4 win over Utah, the Bruins have extended their winning streak to five games. This afternoon, UCLA will look to extend it to six when they visit the Pepperdine Waves.
Last Time Out
On Sunday, starter Jesse Bergin threw 42⁄3 innings while allowing two runs on one hit and four walks. He struck out four. Unfortunately, Bergin just missed becoming the pitcher of record and, so, he didn’t get the win. Personally, I’m not sure why Michael Townsend picked up the win in this one, but he did.
Offensively, the Bruins didn’t waste any time in getting a crooked number up on the scoreboard. In the bottom of the first, Garrett Mitchell started UCLA’s rally with a single up the middle. After Ryan Kreidler grounded out and advanced Mitchell to second, Chase Strumpf doubled to left center, scoring Mitchell. Meanwhile, Strumpf went to third on an error by Utah’s leftfielder. Jack Stronach followed with a sacrifice fly which scored Strumpf and Michael Toglia put an exclamation point on the inning with a solo home run to right center.
In the fifth, after Utah scored a pair of runs in the top half of the inning, the Bruins added another run and, again, it was Mitchell who got the rally going. This time, he hit a double to left center. He scored when Kreidler took the first pitch and drove it to right for an RBI single.
UCLA loaded the bases in the sixth when Kevin Kendall reached on an error, Kyle Cuellar singled to right and Kreidler walked. With two outs and Stumpf at the plate, Utah’s Zac McCleve threw a wild pitch, letting all of the runners move up including Kendall who scored. That made the score 5-2, UCLA.
The Utes closed the gap in the top of the eighth to cut the Bruin lead to 5-4, but UCLA got one of the runs back in the bottom half of the inning after Mitchell tripled and Kreidler singled him home, making the score, 6-4.
Holden Powell closed out the game with a scoreless ninth and earned his 12th save of the season in the process.
The Bruins hosted the Waves two weeks ago at Jackie Robinson Stadium and UCLA won 3-2. After spotting the Waves a pair of runs, UCLA needed a 3-run seventh to come from behind and win that one.
Interestingly, neither of the midweek starters from that game will start tonight. In UCLA’s case that’s because Jesse Bergin was bumped up to Sunday’s start a few days ago and, in Pepperdine’s case, it was similar as Trevor Kniskern also pitched Sunday.
So, tonight’s pitching matchup features freshman Sean Mullen on the hill for the Bruins while redshirt freshman Raul Salazar will go for the Waves.
The key for UCLA will again be getting the bats going early against Salazar.
This is your UCLA at Pepperdine baseball open thread.