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UCLA Baseball: Bruins Drop Series Opener, Look to Even Series With Beavers

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The Bruins stranded 8 men on base in the shutout loss.

Jake Bird had a strong outing but fell short in Game 1.
Scott Chandler/uclabruins.com

The UCLA Bruins baseball team (35-18, 18-9 Pac-12) were able to get hits but failed to string them together, stranding 8 baserunners in a 2-0 shutout loss to the Oregon State Beavers (43-9-1, 19-8-1 Pac-12) to open the year’s final series of the year.

Jake Bird (7-4) had a fairly good outing for the Bruins, giving up 2 earned runs and 5 hits in 8 innings of pitching (which ended up as a complete game). Bird ran into trouble in the 2nd inning, when Bird issues a lead-off walk to Adley Rutschman and a subsequent single to Trevor Larnach. Jake was able to get a strikeout on the next batter, but Oregon State would strike with a single by Tyler Malone, and a subsequent sacrifice single would make the score 2-0.

Unfortunately for the Bruins, that was all Oregon State would need, as Beavers starter Luke Heimlich (14-1) was on his A-game for this one. Heimlich went 7 23 innings, scattering 5 hits and 2 walks over those while striking out 10. The Bruins were only able to get runners into scoring position three times against Heimlich, who was able to subsequently shut the door on them rather quickly. The Bruins were able to get a 4th runner into scoring position against Heimlich in the 8th thanks to a Michael Toglia double, which ended Heimlich’s day at 125 pitches. Brandon Eisert came into the game in the 8th inning, and would pitch out the rest of the game to earn his 5th save of the season.

Despite the score, this did not feel like a game that UCLA was incapable of winning. The Bruins were able to out-hit their counterparts 8-5 while drawing the same number of walks, so the problem was an inability to convert. It also didn’t help that the Bruins were only able to get the lead-off hitter on 2 of the 9 innings, and immediately got 2 more outs to kill any potential rallies.

The Bruins will seek to bounce back today, with freshman Zach Pettway (8-3, 3.42 ERA) listed as the probable starter for the Bruins. They will be facing Bryce Fehmel (8-1, 2.93 ERA), who is himself having a tremendous year.

This is your UCLA Bruins Baseball at Oregon State game two open thread.

Go Bruins!