Going into Sunday’s finale of the Utah series, the Bruins were looking to bust out their brooms again and, sure enough, they did. And, they did it in grand fashion, I might add.
That’s because the visiting Bruins put up a 5-spot before the Utes could even come to bat. Not only that, but every Bruin batter came to the plate before a single Ute could bat. In other words, the game was over before it had really even begun.
UCLA started off the game loading the bases with their first three batters. Then, Jeremy Ydens scored when Michael Toglia was hit by a pitch. A sacrifice fly by Jack Stronach scored Kevin Kendall to make it 2-0, UCLA. Two batters later, Garrett Mitchell hit into a fielder’s choice for the second out, but Chase Strumpf was able to score on the play and it gave the Bruins runners on the corners.
Sensing that the Bruins had their collective foot on the Utes’ neck, UCLA Head Coach John Savage called a double steal that moved Mitchell up to second and scored Toglia. That play also allowed Mitchell to score when Ryan Kreidler doubled to right-center. It would also prove to be the game-winning hit.
The Bruins added an insurance run in the second to give UCLA a 6-0 edge.
But the Utes were able to find enough life in the bats to score twice in the bottom of the third.
Jack Stronach hit his second sacrifice fly of the gave to drive in Kevin Kendall again in the fourth and giving the Bruins a 7-2 lead through three and a half.
The fifth inning saw another sacrifice fly score a run for UCLA. This time, it was Kendall driving in Kriedler to make it 8-2. The Utes were able to cut the lead back down to five due a throwing error by reliever Garrett Barker.
UCLA added yet another insurance run in the sixth and the Bruins had tripled up the Utes, 9-3. The Bruins would score three more in the top of the eighth when UCLA sent eight batters to the plate. The only Bruin who didn’t bat in the eighth was Kevin Kendall as UCLA made it 12-3. Bruin reliever Holden Powell gave up a run in the bottom of the eight, but shut the Utes down in the ninth.
Kyle Mora picked up the win for the Bruins. He is now 3-1 on the season with a 2.66 ERA. Brett Brocoff took the loss for Utah. He’s 0-2.
Tonight, the Bruins return home for a Tuesday game against the unranked UC Irvine Anteaters. John Savage will send sophomore righty Ryan Garcia (3-0, 2.03) to the mound while redshirt junior Louis Raymond takes the hill for the Anteaters (1-3, 3.48 ERA).
There’s no TV or live stream tonight, but ol’ reliable Tim Wilhelm will be on the audio call and, of course, there will be live stats. Links for both can be found in the sidebar above.
This is your UCLA Bruins vs. UC Irvine Anteaters open thread.