The UCLA baseball team (10-3) bounced back yesterday after its opening night loss to Michigan in the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic, coming from behind to take down the Oklahoma State Cowboys by the score of 6-3. The victory snapped the Bruins’ modest two-game losing streak and brought their season win total to ten.
After falling to the Wolverines on Friday night, the UCLA baseball team was looking to Saturday starter Jack Ralston, who has been excellent all year, to help propel them to victory over the Cowboys. But Oklahoma State got to Ralston early, as the righty allowed single runs in the first, second, and fourth innings to the Cowboys. And, although Oklahoma State jumped out to leads of 1-0, 2-1, and 3-1, Ralston only allowed those single runs through a total of five innings, allowing the Bruins to ultimately battle back for the win.
The battle back started with a two out, two RBI single by Michael Toglia to tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Aside from tying the game, the hit was big for two other reasons. First, it was the one of Toglia’s first, true situational hits of the season and, second, Michael brought his average back over .200. Toglia has been having a tough time at the plate and a 2 for 4 performance against a quality opponent like Oklahoma State looks to have helped him possibly get back on track.
Jack Filby relieved Ralston and pitched a scoreless sixth inning, which earned Filby the win, as the Bruins plated two runs in the bottom of the frame, the first of which came on a pinch-hit RBI double by Jarron Silva, giving the Bruins a 4-3 lead. After Matt McLain struck out, Garrett Mitchell doubled Silva home, giving UCLA a two-run cushion.
Kyle Mora came on in the eighth inning and retired all three batters he saw.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Ryan Kreidler added an insurance run for the Bruins on a solo home run over the left field wall at Jackie Robinson Stadium, increasing the lead to 6-3.
Then, Holden Powell came on the ninth inning and retired all three batters he saw, earning his third save of the season.
This Mora and Powell set-up and closer situation has become dynamite so far this season when the Bruins have a lead. Is David Berg, UCLA’s legendary closer who just joined UCLA’s coaching staff this season, having an effect on this situation, which is the best it has been since at least 2015?
UCLA now faces the Southern Cal Trojans (5-8). Southern Cal beat Michigan last night, 4-1, although the season has not been a good one so far across town. The Trojans have not announced who will take the hill for them tonight at Dodger Stadium, although the Bruins usual Sunday starter, Jessie Bergin (2-0, 0.51 ERA) is expected to start for the Bruins.
It is always fun when the Trojans and Bruins play, even though this contest—as usual—doesn’t count in the conference standings.
This is your UCLA versus Southern Cal game three Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic open thread.
Go Bruins!!! Beat SC!!!