In yesterday’s game preview, I felt that things didn’t line up quite the way I had hoped for last night’s matchup versus Michigan’s ace, Tommy Henry. I wrote that, to have a chance, UCLA needed to get a big lead early to knock Henry out of the game and, then, take the Wolverines’ closer Willie Weiss out of the picture.
Well, UCLA did none of that. It was the Wolverines who jumped out to a big lead. Henry (4-0) was excellent, although UCLA did tag him for his first two earned runs of the season. And, Weiss pitched the final three innings, allowing three Bruin runs, but he still earned the save.
The Wolverines had the bases loaded in the first before UCLA starter Zach Pettway (0-1) ever recorded an out and, ultimately, he allowed four runs on four hits and a walk. Michigan took a 4-0 lead before UCLA ever came to bat.
UM add two more runs in the top of the third inning on three singles and a bases loaded walk. A bases loaded double play ended the inning and stopped what could have been a lot more Bruin bleeding. Still, the Wolverines led 6-0 after the top of the third inning.
UCLA answered with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the third frame, started off by a Garrett Mitchell lead-off double and a Will McInerny bunt single. After a Matt McLain fielder’s choice scored Mitchell, Ryan Kreidler had an RBI single, driving in McLain, to cut Michigan’s lead to 6-2.
Neither team scored in the fourth through sixth innings, but UCLA broke through in the bottom of the seventh against Wiess to dramatically close the lead.
Michael Toglia hit a two-out bases clearing three-RBI triple off Weiss in the seventh to cut Michigan’s lead to 6-5. Pinch-hitter Jarron Silva, however, couldn’t cash in Toglia in from third to tie the game, popping out with a full count to end the threat.
Weiss would then settle down in the eighth and ninth innings, allowing no more UCLA base runners, let alone any more Bruin runs.
Michigan would also get an insurance run in the eighth inning, on a double, single, and a wild pitch by UCLA reliever Kyle Mora. That would account for the final score, 7-5.
Henry threw six innings, giving up two earned runs, in earning the win. Pettway threw 62⁄3 and gave up six earned runs, suffering the loss.
Today, at 2 pm PT at Jackie Robinson Stadium, UCLA has a chance to bounce back against its next opponent in the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic, the Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-4). OK State beat Southern Cal yesterday by the score of 11-6. The Trojans jumped out to a 6-0 lead through two innings before the Cowboys brought home seven runs in the top of the third inning, shocking the Trojans and never looking back. They later plated four more runs throughout the game.
UCLA will throw junior Jack Ralston (3-0, 1.00 ERA) today when UCLA faces Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have not announced their starting pitcher.
Ralston has been very consistent for the Bruins so far this season. So, hopefully, the Bruins can right the ship today and end their modest two-game losing streak.
This is your UCLA Bruins versus Oklahoma State Cowboys Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic open thread.