Last night, UCLA got another strong start from Zach Pettway. Even though UC Berkeley got on the scoreboard first, the Bruins came back to win the game 4-2.
The Golden Bears got on the board in the top of the second when Jonah Davis led off the inning with a homer to right.
UCLA came back in the top of the fifth. Will McInerny singled to start off the inning and Daniel Amaral followed with a two-run homer to left, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the eighth, the Bruins added a couple of insurance runs from Jack Stronach and Ryan Kreidler as UCLA took a 4-1 lead.
UC Berkeley tried to rally in the bottom of the eighth. Ryan Garcia, who had relieved Pettway in the seventh, gave up a leadoff walk to Tanner Dodson. Garcia then hit Davis with a pitch, bringing the tying run to the plate. John Savage made a call to the bullpen and brought in Garret Barker, who got Darren Baker to fly out for the first out of the inning. Before Barker struck out the next batter, he threw a wild pitch which advanced Dodson and Davis. That was all for Barker as Savage brought in Holden Powell to get the final out.
And, he did. It just didn’t happen the way Savage would have preferred. Powell gave up a single to center that scored Dodson. Davis also tried to score but Amaral’s throw from center cut down Davis at the plate.
With the eighth inning threat ended, Powell threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his third save of the season.
Pettway earned his fifth win of the season while Jared Horn took the loss for the Golden Bears.
This afternoon, the Bruins and the Bears will meet in the rubber game of the series. Today’s starter for UCLA is officially listed as to be announced, but, given that Jack Ralston has started the third game of the series each of the last two weekends, it’s probably a safe assumption that he will get the start again today.
Ralston had a shaky outing in his first start against Washington State, but last weekend’s start against the Sun Devils was much better. Considering that, I’d say that he’s today’s probable starter for the Bruins.
He will face Aaron Shortridge, who has started in his last four appearances. While Ralston improved from his first start to his second, Shortridge has been less effective as a starter than he was as a reliever. While his season ERA is 3.03, he has an 4.58 ERA over his last three starts. So, the key for UCLA will be to get to Shortridge as soon as possible before UC Berkeley can get to the bullpen.
This is your UCLA Bruins at UC Berkeley Golden Bears rubber game open thread.