As it turned out, yesterday’s UCLA baseball game against Southern Cal was over before the Trojans even came to bat.
That’s because Jake Pries hit a three-run homer with one out in the top of the first which got the Bruins all the runs they would need to beat the Trojans yesterday.
The game actually started with Garrett Mitchell leading off for the Bruins and prompting laying down a bunt, but Southern Cal starting pitcher Isaac Esqueda was able to field it and throw Mitchell out at first. Ryan Kreidler followed and singled to left before stealing second. When Chase Strumpf walked on five pitches, UCLA had runners on first and second with still just one out when Pries came to the plate and knocked it out of the park.
The third inning started just like the first. Kreidler laid down a lead-off bunt but was thrown out by Esqueda. Strumpf doubled to left and he moved to third when Pries singled. Jack Stronach’s RBI single scored Strumpf and got Pries to second. After Esqueda threw a wild pitch that moved the runners up, Michael Toglia hit a bases-clearing RBI double to center, giving UCLA a big 6-0 lead.
In the fourth
quarter...I mean, inning, UCLA kicked the extra point...errr...scored their seventh run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Strumpf that scored Noah Cardenas. Cardenas had been hit by a pitch and moved over to third on a double down the left field line by Mitchell before Strumpf hit the sac fly.
Meanwhile, Jack Ralston was pitching one of his best games this season. He ended up going 82⁄3 innings while allowing just one run, a solo two-out ninth-inning homer, on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts for his fourth win of the year. Kyle Mora came into the game in a non-save situation to record the final out of the game to even the series at a game a piece.
This afternoon, the teams will meet again at Dedeaux Field in the rubber game of the series. Today’s starter for the Bruins is Ryan Garcia who pitched a heck of a game last Sunday against Arizona. If he can replicate that again this afternoon, the Bruins should win. That’s because Southern Cal is sending Kyle Hurt to the hill. Hurt is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA. Hopefully, UCLA is able to put a hurt on the Trojans this afternoon to grab the series win.
This is your UCLA Bruins vs. Southern Cal Trojans baseball rubber game open thread.