The UCLA baseball team batted around in the 8th inning yesterday afternoon in game two of the weekend series against Washington State, scoring four runs, and propelling the Bruins to a comeback 8-5 victory over the Cougars. UCLA (12-4, 2-0 PAC 12) earns the series win and has a chance to break out the brooms with a win in the series finale today at 1 p.m. PT. Washington State (4-11, 0-2 PAC 12) will try to salvage the weekend with a win this afternoon.
The Bruins got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning yesterday on the strength of a Daniel Amaral triple and a Jeremy Ydens sacrifice fly, giving UCLA the 1-0 advantage.
It was short-lived, however, as Wazzou racked up five runs in the top of the third inning, using three singles and back-to-back home runs by Justin Harrar and Blake Clanton, for a 5-1 lead.
That would be all of the scoring for the Cougars on the day, and the Bruins began chipping away at the lead with two runs in the bottom of the third inning, on a Chase Strumpf two run home run, and one run in the bottom of the fourth inning, on a Jake Hirabayashi RBI single. After four innings, WSU still led 5-4.
There was no scoring for either team in the fifth, sixth, or seventh innings, and it seemed like time was running out for the Bruins, but UCLA sent ten men to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Bruins, helped by a walk and a hit batsman, also used four hits, including a game-tying RBI double by Amaral and 2 RBI single for Hirabayashi to take the lead, 8-5.
The Cougars threatened in the ninth inning, putting runners on first and second with no outs, but late inning replacement Jordan Prendiz made a tough catch going away in left field on a well hit ball and Michael Toglia, who had a tough day at the plate, snared a line drive and doubled up the runner off first for the game-ending double play.
Winners and Losers
UCLA freshman, Holden Powell (1-0, 4.15 ERA), recorded his first win of his college career, facing and retiring two batters in the eighth inning, and Kyle Mora earned his second save of the season. WSU’s Ryan Walker, who gave up four runs in one and 1/3 innings, took the loss.
The Bruins were led at the plate by Ydens, hitting out of the lead-off spot, who went 3 for 3 with two RBI. Hirabayashi, batting second, went 2 for 3 with 3 RBI and a run scored. Amaral, uncharacteristically hitting in the eighth slot, had two extra base hits, scored twice, and had an RBI. Strumpf’s two run home run was big too.
Break Out The Brooms?
The teams are scheduled to play the final game of the series today at 1 p.m. PT at Jackie Robinson Stadium. UCLA Head Coach John Savage has not announced will start on the mound for the Bruins, but the logical choice is Ryan Garcia (2-0, 1.42 ERA), who has pitched well as UCLA’s midweek starter so far this season. Washington State will counter with senior left-hander, Cody Anderson (1-3, 2.41 ERA).
This is your UCLA Bruin baseball versus Washington State game three open thread. Fire away with your thoughts in the comment section.