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UCLA Baseball: The Long Slog to the Finish Line Continued With a Three Game Sweep by Oregon State

The UCLA Baseball team traveled to Corvallis, and were swept in dominating, depressing fashion. The Bruins were not able to maintain early leads in two of the games. And the road to the finish line does not get much easier in the final seven games. Finishing with a losing record now seems like a very distinct possibility.

Was this really less than 12 months ago?
Was this really less than 12 months ago?

UCLA Baseball was swept by Oregon State in Corvallis last weekend. This drops the Bruins to 23-25-1, and 10-14 in conference play, "good" for 8th place.

The cumulative score in the three games was 7-24. But absent some late inning meltdowns by the David Berg-less bullpen, the games would have been a lot closer.

On Friday night, UCLA jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the 3rd. The big blow was a two out, two run double by Ty Moore, which scored Aaron Weimer and Brett Stephens. James Kaprielian (7.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 6 BB, 4K) allowed single runs in the 5th and 6th innings. The score was tied 2-2 going to the bottom of the 8th. With two outs and nobody on, the wheels came off. Two singles and two walks led to the go-ahead run, and ended Kaprielian's night. Jake Ehret walked in another run with the only batter he faced. And that was that- 4-2 Beavers. Here is the Friday box score.

On Saturday night, the Bruins only trailed 4-3 going to the bottom of the 7th. Ty Moore continued to do damage for the Bruins, hitting a solo homer in the top of the 3rd. Justin Hazard knocked in Christoph Bono with a ground rule double in the top of the 4th. Shane Zeile was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to account for the third UCLA run. Meanwhile, Grant Watson (6+ IP, 2 ER, 10 H, 2 BB, 3 K) kept the Bruins in the game. Watson was charged with five runs, but three were unearned- two in the 1st, helped by a Luke Persico error on a sac bunt, and one in the 5th, helped by a Watson error. After allowing a lead off single in the 7th, Watson was pulled. And then the roof caved in, as Grant Dyer, Jake Ehret and Max Schuh all appeared in the 7th inning, as Oregon State scored six runs. And that was that- 9-3 Beavers. Here is the Saturday box score.

On Sunday afternoon, UCLA again jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Nick Kern, in the DH spot for the injured Kevin Williams, drove in Trent Chatterton and Ty Moore with a two out triple in the top of the 1st. Cody Poteet (6+ IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 3 K) pitched well enough to win most Sunday games. He left with the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 7th, after walking the lead-off runner. Kern and Schuh combined to finish the inning, but not before Oregon State had scored six runs. Scott Burke pitched the 8th inning, and allowed three more runs. And that was that- 11-2 Beavers. Here is the Sunday box score.

The UCLA starters had ERA's for the series of 5.00 (Kaprielian), 3.00 (Watson), and 4.50 (Poteet). Those are clearly not their best efforts. But look at the ERA's for the bullpen- 81.82 (Ehret), 27.27 (Dyer), 3.86 (Schuh), 109.09 (Kern) and 27 (Burke). Ouch.

This is hopefully not a sign of things to come in the post-David Berg world. With his injury, the other bullpen members have had to step up to pick up the slack, and have come up short. Coach Savage clearly has some work to do before next season.

Tomorrow night, the Bruins travel to #24 ranked UC Irvine. The Bruins then host a weekend series against Oregon, which is currently tied for 3rd in the conference. The Bruins then hit the road for the final series of 2014, in Seattle against #5 Washington. UCLA needs to win five of seven to avoid a losing record. That is a tall order, given what has gone down in recent weeks.

But every game starts 0-0 in the top of the 1st. Go Bruins !!