It was almost as if UCLA played two separate baseball games yesterday against Stanford. In the first 41⁄2 innings, Stanford’s bats destroyed UCLA’s pitchers while the Bruins struggled to respond offensively. In the second 41⁄2 innings, the Bruins outscored the Cardinal, 8-0.
But, no matter how you look at it, it was a highly unusual game for the Bruins. To start with, it was UCLA’s starting pitching that couldn’t contain their opponent. The reality of the situation was that Stanford was just tearing the cover off the ball. Bruin starter Zach Pettway got really roughed up for the first time, giving up 8 runs, 5 earned runs, 3 homers, 6 hits and 2 walks in just 21⁄3 innings.
When John Savage took Pettway out, he brought in Nick Scheidler, but it didn’t get much better. In 22⁄3 innings, Scheidler gave up 5 more runs including a 3-run homer to Andrew Daschbach. For Daschbach, it was his second homer of the game.
Meanwhile, the Bruin offense came primarily from Chase Strumpf, who had 4 RBis, and Michael Toglia, who had 6 RBIs.
The Bruins’ first big at-bat came in the bottom of the second with the Cardinal already up 4-0. That’s when Toglia hit a solo shot to left-center to make it 4-1.
Toglia struck again in the fourth. With UCLA trailing 9-1, Toglia hit a two-run double down the left field line to score Kevin Kendall and Strumpf.
After Stanford scored four more in the top of the 5th, Strumpf singled to right to score Will McInerny. Two batters later, Toglia reached on an error which scored Jeremy Ydens to make it 13-5. A sacrifice fly from Jake Pries scored Strumpf and it was 13-6.
John Savage turned to Kyle Mora try to stop the bleeding to start the sixth inning and Mora did just that by shutting out the Cardinal in the final four innings, but the score remained 13-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Savage turned to his bench again when he sent Kyle Cuellar to pinch hit for Ty Haselman to start off the ninth. While Cuellar has struggled at the plate this season, he came through with a single up the middle. Ydens followed with another single and Kevin Kendall reached on a fielder’s choice to give the Bruins runners on the corners with one out. Strumpf drove a moonshot over the left field wall and UCLA now trailed 13-9.
Following a Jack Stronach single, Toglia came to the plate and hit his second homer of the game to bring Jake Pries to the plate and put the tying run in the on-deck circle. But Pries flew out to center and Garrett Mitchell flew out to left as the Bruin comeback fell two runs short.
Today, the teams will play the rubber game of the series at 1pm PT. There’s no TV again, but considering how exciting this series has been, you may want to tune in to Tim Wilhelm’s audio call of today’s game.
Just like last Sunday, the UCLA starter for today is officially listed as TBD, but I’d expect it to be Jack Ralston (0-1, 6.10 ERA) again as he seems to have slid into the role of the Sunday starter after Jon Olsen was injured against Southern Cal in the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic. Meanwhile, the Cardinal will send sophomore lefty Erik Miller (1-1, 3.09 ERA) to the hill.
This is your UCLA Bruins vs. Stanford Cardinal rubber game open thread.