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UCLA Baseball Rallies to Beat Southern Cal and Even the Series

A two-run eighth inning rally gave the Bruins a much-needed win over the Trojans and kept alive the Bruins' hopes of qualifying for postseason play with a late season surge.

UCLA Baseball (24-24, 11-12)

Opponent: Southern Cal (22-25, 11-12)

When: 6:00 PM PDT, Sunday, May 15, 2016

Where: Jackie Robinson Stadium, Los Angeles, CA

Audio: Bruin Audio

Video: Pac-12 Networks

Live StatsUCLA StatBroadcast

In what many considered to be a must win game for the UCLA baseball team (24-24, 11-12 PAC 12), the Bruins prevailed over Southern California (22-25, 11-12 PAC 12) in dramatic fashion, 4-3, to keep their slim post-season chances alive, and to even the series with the Trogans.

SC led for most of the game, after Grant Dyer gave up an early two-run home run in the top of the 1st innings. UCLA answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the 1st, to cut the lead to 2-1. Dyer conceded an additional run in the third inning, to make the game 3-1, but then settled down and did not allow another Trogan run in his 7 and 1/3 innings pitched.

The fireworks started in the top of the 8th inning, after UCLA had cut the lead to 3-2. There were three plays at the plate in the last two frames, all three of which went UCLA's way.

The first occurred when Southern Cal had a man on third base, with one out in the top of the 8th inning. SC was leading 3-2, and was looking to extent its lead. The SC batter lifted a fly ball to shallow center field, and the Trogan on third base tagged on the play. Christoph Bono made the catch and rifled the ball home to Daniel Rosica, who applied the tag. Out at the plate! Double play!! UCLA kept the deficit at one going into the bottom of the 8th.

UCLA tied the score in the bottom half of the 8th on a Kort Peterson RBI single and a Jake Pries sacrifice fly. There was another play at the plate on Pries' sac fly, but the umpire called Luke Persico safe, giving UCLA the 4-3 lead.

In the bottom of the 9th, with UCLA leading 4-3, Southern Cal threatened again. SC had the tying run on second and one out, when Corey Dempster singled to right field. The Southern Cal third base coach waived the runner home, but Kort Peterson nailed him at the plate, recording the second out, and preserving the UCLA lead. Hunter Virant came on to strike out the final Trogan batter, preserving the UCLA win and earning the save.

Three plays at the plate. All three went UCLA's way. I am sure that the Bruins will take it.

Tonight, UCLA throws Kyle Molnar. Molnar has been hot of late, with solid outings against Irvine last week and at Utah the week before in his last two starts. Molnar started against the Trogans at Dodger Stadium earlier this season, when the Bruins won in extra innings. Southern Cal's starting pitcher is TBA.

Once again, this is a huge game for the Bruins, who must win most if not all of their remaining games to have a shot to qualify for the postseason. A series win against Southern Cal would pave the way for potential success in the midweek game against Santa Barbara, and against Arizona State next weekend.

The game is televised on the PAC 12 Network. You can also follow via online streaming audio or live statistics.

This is your UCLA v. Southern Cal Game Three open thread.

Go Bruins!!