It was a long day for the Bruins at Jackie Robinson Stadium today.
After losing to Maryland last night, they dropped into the loser's bracket and had to defeat Cal State Bakersfield this afternoon to get another crack at the Maryland Terrapins. After a gutsy performance by Cody Poteet and some late inning insurance runs, the Bruins did just that.
The Bruins took care of business in the nitecap as well.
They scored first in the bottom of the first when Luke Persico singled through the left side scoring Kevin Kramer who started the inning with a single of his own and the Bruins led 1-0 after one inning.
Darrell Miller, Jr. started the second inning with a single to center and eventually scored when Kevin Kramer singled through the right side, giving the Bruins a 2-0 lead.
Maryland centerfielder LaMonte Wade homered in the top of the third to cut the Terrapins' deficit in half to a 2-1 score.
But the Bruins came right back in the bottom of the inning. This time, it was Ty Moore scoring on a Kort Peterson single to give UCLA a 3-1 edge. That would prove to be the game winning RBI for Peterson even though Maryland would close the gap to 3-2 when Tim Lewis scored on Kevin Smith's ground out to UCLA reliever Jake Bird.
UCLA added some insurance in the seventh inning after Ty Moore doubled to center and stole third base scoring after the throw from Maryland catcher Kevin Martir to third baseman Jose Cuas went into left field on the play. That would prove to be more than enough as the UCLA bullpen held the Terrapins to 5 innings of shutout baseball.
Tucker Forbes earned the victory for his 1-2/3 innings of scoreless relief while Maryland's Ryan Selmer took the loss. David Berg earned his 13th save of the season.
Because the NCAA Baseball Tournament is a double-elimination tournament, these teams will meet again in the deciding game of the Los Angeles Regional tonight at 8pm PT. Exactly who will take the mound for either team is anyone's guess.
Will UCLA Coach John Savage bring back his ace James Kaprielian on very short rest after he pitched on Friday night or will he instead turn to a reliever like Grant Dyer who has thrown just 19 pitches so far this weekend (11 Friday against Bakersfield and another 8 in Sunday's game against Bakersfield)?
At this point, I think you've got to think that either one is possible, but one thing is for sure: Look for Savage to have a quick hook for whomever he sends out to the mound if it looks like they aren't pitching well.