Another Sunday, another rubber match to decide a weekend series - last week against Arizona State, things didn't turn out very well for the Bruins, but UCLA will look to get back to winning ways this afternoon against Long Beach State and pick up the series win in the process. Last night, the Bruins hosted the Long Beach State Dirtbags at Jackie Robinson Stadium, and despite facing a Dirtbag pitcher making only his second start on the year, the Bruins' bats fell silent and UCLA came up short, 4-0. Grant Watson (6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 K, 8 H, 2 BB) was decidedly average, doing enough to hope for a win, but falling well short of his best. With UCLA's limp offense (limited to just 3 hits and 2 walks) completely stymied by Josh Frye (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 K, 3 H, 2 BB), Watson never had much of as chance to pick up the win.
While the loss doesn't impact the conference standings, the inconsistency and inability to hit is certainly not going to give Coach Savage a lot of confidence before resuming conference play this upcoming week, especially with Washington continuing to be hot, having dropped Oregon last night, 1-0, to stay in sole control of first place. For more coverage of conference games impacting the Bruins' place in the Pac-12 race, check out islandbruin2's roundup here.
Turning to this afternoon's game, the Bruins will try to salvage the series behind the arm of Sunday sophomore starter Cody Poteet (2-1, 3.35 ERA), who will square off against southpaw junior Ryan Strufing (0-0, 3.00 ERA). The Bruins ran Strufing off the hill quickly in their only prior meeting this year, in a 2-1 UCLA win on March 25. As islandbruin2 pointed out in his series preview on Friday:
Strufing was the mid-week starter and has been slid up the rotation and will be making just his third start of the season. He only lasted two innings, giving up one run on three hits before getting the hook. The Bruins have been strong behind Poteet, going 5-2 in Sunday games, while Long Beach State has struggled on the final weekend day, going just 1-5.
First pitch is set for 1 p.m. PST at Blair Field at Long Beach State. If you're unable to make it down to Long Beach on this beautiful Southern California Sunday afternoon, you can listen in live to the audio broadcast, being called by John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm. Or if you can't listen in, you can track the game live on the official website's Gametracker.
This is your Sunday baseball open thread, so fire away in the comment thread with your comments, takes, or what you observe as you're watching, tracking, or listening in to the game.