UCLA Baseball lost 2-1 last night to Oregon. James Kaprielian threw his usual stellar outing, with a complete game, 11 strikeout performance, in his last home start of the 2014 season. But it wasn't enough, as Oregon scored an unearned run in the top of the 7th which proved to be the difference. With the loss, UCLA falls to 23-27-1 (10-15 in conference, "good" for 8th place). UCLA now must win out in the remaining five games to avoid a losing season overall and in conference play. Oregon, meanwhile, improves to 37-16, 15-10 in conference, and makes plans for the postseason.
Tonight, Grant Watson (4-8, 3.78) will be pitching the Bruins. UCLA is only 2-6 in Saturday conference games, so this is likely to be an uphill battle. In listening to a Pac-12 broadcast a couple of weeks ago, the comment was made that Watson (and Sunday starter Cody Poteet) have been especially hurt by the UCLA injuries in the field, as they are both contact pitchers. Kaprielian, in contrast, is a strikeout pitcher, and therefore his performance has not dropped off. Watson is a junior, and could be making his last start at home for the Bruins. It will all depend on next month's draft. UCLA had lost three prior Friday conference games before last night. And the Bruins only won one of those three games to even the series. So history is not on UCLA's side, but every game starts 0-0.
Oregon will counter with Jeff Gold (9-1, 3.06). Oregon is 4-4 in Saturday conference games. Oregon had won five prior Friday conference games before last night. And the Ducks had won the subsequent Saturday game to clinch the series three out of five times. So history is on Oregon's side, but again every game starts 0-0.
Game time is 7pm. The game will be televised on Pac-12 network, with Jim Watson and Geoff Blum calling the action. You can also catch the audio feed with John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm here. And Morgan Center will attempt to provide a live stat feed for nine innings. If you are feeling lucky, you can follow here.
This is your Saturday baseball thread. Fire away with updates, observations, general commiserating, and any other baseball-related thoughts.
Go Bruins !!