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UCLA Gets Another Series Win; Looks to Sweep the 'Cats on Senior Day

The UCLA Bruins baseball team followed up Friday's no hit performance with a very solid 6-0 victory over the Arizona Wildcats yesterday.

Ty Moore started things off for the Bruins yesterday with a solo home run
Ty Moore started things off for the Bruins yesterday with a solo home run

The UCLA Bruins (40-12; 20-6 PAC 12) got another huge performance from its pitching staff and the Bruins hit well yesterday, in a 6-0 shutout victory over the Arizona Wildcats (28-22; 12-17 PAC 12). The win gives UCLA the series win, bringing their weekend series record to 13-0 this season. Grant Watson pitched masterfully, throwing 7 scoreless innings, scattering 4 hits, with 6 strikeouts, to earn his 30th victory as a Bruin, breaking a second place tie for all-time UCLA career wins with Adam Plutko. Only Trevor Bauer has more, with 34 career wins. Congratulations, Grant!

Grant Dyer, Tucker Forbes, and Dave Berg pitched the final two innings, collectively striking out three and giving up two hits. UCLA is still undefeated when leading after 6 innings.

The Bruins did the majority of their damage in the fourth and fifth innings, plating two runs and three runs, respectively. In the fourth, Ty Moore started things off with a solo home run, his fifth of the season. Singles by Luke Persico and Daryl Miller, Jr., advanced Persico to third, where he scored on a wild pitch. 2-0, Bruins.

In the fifth, the Bruins loaded the bases on singles by Brett Stephens and Kevin Kramer, and a walk to Persico. Keck drove in Stephens on a sacrifice fly (in which the Arizona right fielder made an INCREDIBLE catch, but may have suffered a serious concussion, as he was down for a long time and "out of it" for an even longer time—here is to hoping that that kid is okay). The sac fly advanced Kramer to third. Persico then stole second, putting runners on second and third with two outs. Miller, Jr. chopped one to third, but Arizona’s third baseman threw the ball away, allowing both Kramer and Persico to score, bringing the tally to 5-0. UCLA scored another run in the 8th, and the 6-0 score held as the final.

UCLA has held the top hitting team in the PAC 12 scoreless over the first 19 innings of the series. UCLA’s pitching staff’s super low ERA has gotten even lower. These are incredible accomplishments, but UCLA has its own issue to deal with today and perhaps going forward on Sundays. Griffin Canning is still suffering from back spasms. After Coach Savage switched him with Cody Poteet mid-season, Canning has settled very well into the Sunday starter role. That role is absolutely critical to postseason success. Canning will miss his second straight start today. Hunter Virant is the next man up. The lefty got his first start last Sunday, and pitched pretty well but got the loss, throwing 4 and 1/3 innings, giving up one run on three hits. Virant needs to come up big today and let’s hope for a speedy recovery for Griffin Canning.

A lot can happen today with respect to the PAC 12 Conference race. Check out the standings and scenarios below.

PAC 12 Standings. Here is the breakdown of the PAC 12 standings after last night's games:

UCLA 20-6 (leading the conference with 4 to play)

just$c* 16-9 (3 and ½ back with 5 to play)

OSU 16-9-1 (4 back with 4 to play)

ASU 17-10 (3 and ½ back with 3 to play)

CAL 15-10 (4 and ½ back with 5 to play)

PAC 12 Conference Scenarios. Here is a breakdown of the scenarios between the Bruins and the other contending teams in the PAC 12:

Arizona State: UCLA’s magic number is one. Any one UCLA win OR ASU loss will eliminate the Sun Devils from contention for the title. ASU is done playing for the weekend, so ASU could still be alive going into next’s weekend’s series at just$C*, if and only if UCLA loses today.

Oregon State: UCLA’s magic number is one. Any one UCLA win OR OSU loss will eliminate the Beavers from contention for the title. The Beavers are at Stanford today (Go 'Furd) and host Cal next weekend.

UC Berkeley: UCLA’s magic number is one. Any one UCLA win OR Cal loss will eliminate the Golden Bears from contention for the title. Cal and just$C" play the second of three series games today.

just$c: UCLA’s magic number is two. Any combination of two UCLA wins OR just$c* losses will eliminate the Trogans.

So, UCLA can clinch the PAC 12 title today. If the Bruins win, and Cal beats just$C*, UCLA will be champs, no matter what happens with the other games today and no matter what happens in Eugene next weekend. Cal and just$C* square off at 4:00 p.m. PT, on the PAC 12 Networks.

First pitch for the Bruins today is at 1:00 p.m. PT. The game is on the PAC 12 Networks. John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm will have the call via online streaming audio. Live stats are also available here. Come out to Jackie Robinson Stadium for Senior Day, when UCLA will honor the seniors on the team, including Dave Berg, Grant Watson, and Chris Keck.

Get out the brooms, UCLA Bruins! Let’s get this done.

This is your UCLA v. Arizona Game 3 Open Thread. Go Bruins!!!