After needing extra innings to get by Arizona State on Friday night, the UCLA baseball team required no such dramatics yesterday to beat the Sun Devils, 12-1, on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Westwood. The Bruins (15-4, 5-0 Pac-12) rode a three-run second inning and a five-run third inning to a decisive victory, claiming the series win (and proving my pessimistic series prediction incorrect).
True freshman, Zach Pettway (4-0, 2.35 ERA) scattered five hits and only allowed one (earned) run over six innings of work, earning the victory and holding the potent Arizona State offense in check. Pettway struck out four and allowed four bases on balls. Another true freshman, Boyd Vander Kooi, took the loss for Arizona State (11-12, 3-2 Pac-12), conceding eight hits and seven earned runs in two and 1/3 innings.
UCLA was led at the plate by freshman designated hitter RJ Teijeiro, who went three for three (including two doubles), three runs scored, one RBI, and a walk. RJ got on base and scored in both of UCLA’s big innings, the second and third.
In 18 plate appearances this season, Teijeiro has four hits, six walks, and an HBP, good for a .611 on base percentage. It will be tough to get RJ out of lineup with numbers like that.
Another major contributor with the stick was Jake Hirabayashi, who had a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning to put UCLA up 3-0. Hirabayashi also walked twice, scoring both times. Jake is having a nice season at the plate, hitting a robust .322.
Pettway is having himself an outstanding freshman year. Not only in the wins and losses column, but it appears that he is being taken under Head Coach John Savage’s wing.
Thanks to the wonders of televised Pac-12 baseball--I love listening to Tim Wilhelm but it is nice to actually SEE the team from time to time—cameras on Friday night captured Pettway sitting next to Savage charting pitches. There have been some outstanding young pitchers who wore the UCLA uniform doing just that in the past. I think that it speaks volumes about what Coach Savage thinks about his young right hander.
Today, the Bruins seek the series sweep. Coach Savage has not revealed who will take the hill for UCLA to start the game, although Ryan Garcia would be a safe bet. Jack Ralston started last Sunday, but was touched up for four runs in three and 1/3 innings.
Senior left hander Eli Lingos (3-1, 3.09 ERA) gets the start for the Sun Devils, who will look to salvage a win against the Bruins. First pitch is at noon and the game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks (Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Arizona, to be exact).
This is your UCLA Bruins versus Arizona State Sun Devils Game 3 open thread.