Tonight, the #1 UCLA baseball team returns home to the friendly confines of Jackie Robinson Stadium for a midweek game against the Cal State Northridge Matadors at 6 pm PT.
Last Time Out
On Sunday, the Bruins played the rubber game of their weekend series against the Southern Cal Trojans, which UCLA won by a score of 9-2. Starting pitcher Ryan Garcia allowed two runs, one of which was earned, on three hits and five walks over five innings. He struck out three. For his efforts, Garcia earned his second win of the season.
The Trojans got on the scoreboard first with an RBI sacrifice fly to take a 1-0 lead, but the Bruins bounced right back with a crooked number in the top of the second when Jarron Silva hit a two-run homer to right, which drove in Jack Stronach, who had reached on an error. No sooner did the Bruins take the lead than Southern Cal tied it back up in the bottom half of the inning.
UCLA got their first two batters on in the top of the third. Will McInerny led off with a walk and advanced to third on a double by Garrett Mitchell. Ryan Kreidler’s sacrifice fly scored McInerny and moved Mitchell to third. He would score on a wild pitch to Chase Strumpf and the Bruins led 4-2.
Kevin Kendall scored an insurance run on a wild pitch in the fourth while Michael Toglia added another insurance run in the fifth inning with a lead-off homer to right.
After Garcia threw a scoreless bottom of the fifth, John Savage turned to the bullpen for the final four frames and the Bruin relief pitchers held Southern Cal scoreless.
Meanwhile, UCLA rallied again in the ninth. With two outs, Strumpf reached on an error and Stronach singled before being lifted for pinch-runner Jordan Prendiz. Toglia singled to load the bases for Silva, who doubled down the line in right, scoring Strumpf and Prendiz and giving the Bruins a 9-2 victory and the series win.
Cal State Northridge
Tonight, the Bruins and Matadors complete their home-and-home season series. The last time the teams played, UCLA rallied late to win, 4-3. Since that game, CSUN has gone 7-12. So, tonight’s game should be an easy win for the top-ranked Bruins, but there’s a reason they play the games and that’s even more relevant in baseball.
Tonight, Jesse Bergin (2-0, 3.49 ERA) takes the hill for UCLA while redshirt senior Cassius Hamm (2-1, 5.73 ERA) will start for the Matadors. Bergin has pitched well for a freshman and, as long as he pitches the way he can, the Bruins should win.
This is your UCLA vs. CSUN baseball open thread.