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UCLA Baseball Faces Crosstown Rivals at Dodger Stadium Today

The Bruins face the Trojans as the 2018 Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic concludes this afternoon.

Chase Strumpf hit a two-run homer on Friday night, but UCLA lost to Vanderbilt, 6-3.
Don Liebig/

Well, the rain yesterday washed out last night’s scheduled game against TCU. That leaves just today’s game against Southern Cal as the 2018 Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic concludes this afternoon.

On Friday night, UCLA just couldn’t generate enough offense after Bruin starter Jake Bird spotted the Commodores a run in the first and three in the second.

The Bruins cut the lead to three in the bottom of the second when Jake Pries doubled and scored on a Jack Stronach single. Then, in the third, after Michael Toglia walked to start the inning, Chase Strumpf hit a two-run homer to center and it was 4-3, Commodores.

Vanderbilt would add two insurance runs in the top of the ninth. In the bottom of the ninth, UCLA would bring the tying to run to the plate, but Daniel Amaral struck out looking to end the Bruin threat.

This afternoon, the Bruins face crosstown rival Southern Cal in a non-conference matchup between two Pac-12 schools. Because both schools had rainouts yesterday, it’s not clear which pitchers will get the starting nod for each team. John Savage and Dan Hubbs will have to decide if they want to go with their usual Sunday starters or opt instead for their Saturday guys who didn’t pitch yesterday.

Regardless of who gets the start, look for the other starter to be the first pitcher out of the pen if the starter gets in trouble. Personally, if I’m John Savage, I think I stick with Zach Pettway, who has pitched lights out so far this season despite being just a freshman. Pettway’s 0.69 ERA alone would make me stick with the freshman.

Meanwhile, Hubbs’ decision isn’t as easy. So, it will be interesting to see if he goes with the righty or the lefty. I’m going to guess that he opts for the lefty Quentin Longrie just to try to throw off UCLA’s hitters. Of course, it may not matter, given that Dodger Stadium is one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in MLB, but left-handed batters do tend to do better there. So, going with Longrie would seem to make more sense.

Today’s game is the first of the season to air on TV. Although, given Pac-12 Networks lack of a DirecTV deal, it may not matter for many.

This is your UCLA Bruins vs. Southern Cal Trojans Dodger Stadium Baseball Classic open thread.

Go Bruins!!!