The UCLA Bruins baseball team (9-0) continues to roll along in 2020. This time, the Bruins knocked off a ranked opponent, #16 Oklahoma State (7-3), by the score of 8-1 in a game that wasn’t close. The Bruins, who were designated as visitors in this neutral site game, plated two runs in the top of the first inning and three more runs in the top of the second inning, putting UCLA firmly in control early, 5-0.
Junior right-hander Zach Pettway threw seven scoreless innings, earning his second win of the season. Today, UCLA faces another ranked team for the second day in a row, the Texas A&M Aggies (10-1). Texas A&M fell to Illinois yesterday in the second game of the Frisco College Classic—the Aggies’ first loss all season—by the score of 1-0.
Last Time Out
Yesterday afternoon, UCLA scored early and often versus the Oklahoma State Cowboys, registering five runs in the first two innings on seven hits, including RBI doubles for Matt McLain, Noah Cardenas, Mikey Perez and Garrett Mitchell.
The Bruins scored three more runs in the seventh inning, after UCLA started the frame with three singles in a row. Pat Caulfield had the big hit for the Bruins, a two-run double. All in all, UCLA hitters had six doubles in the game.
Oklahoma State scored its only run of the day in the eighth inning on a solo home run on a 3-2 pitch by Bruins reliever Adrian Chaidez.
Pettway was outstanding for the second start in a row, seemingly growing into his Friday starter’s role. His ERA is now 0.92 through three starts.
Today, UCLA Head Coach John Savage sends sophomore Nick Nastrini (1-0, 2.08 ERA) to the hill for the Bruins. Nastrini went 32⁄3 innings last weekend versus St. Mary’s, allowing one run on four hits. The right-hander will look for a better outing today versus Texas A&M.
Before yesterday’s 1-0 loss to Illinois (4-3), the Bruins’ opponent tomorrow, Texas A&M was undefeated on the season and was hitting .340 as team on the season. The Aggies, however, were completely shut down by the Illini pitchers, who only scattered three hits on the night, dropping A&M’s team batting average to a still formidable .321. UCLA, by contrast, is hitting .303 at a team.
Leading the Aggies is junior outfielder Zach DeLoach, who is hitting .531 with four home runs and 11 RBI. DeLoach went hitless against Illinois. So, he will be due for a couple hits today.
Christian Roa (2-0, 2.45 ERA) will start for Texas A&M today. Roa has started two games for the Aggies this season, both wins. He has thrown 11 innings and allowed four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits.
If the Aggies find themselves in a save situation, junior right-hander Bryce Miller (2 saves) should get the call, although he took the loss yesterday.
How can you pick against the Bruins at this point? I am predicting wins until the Bruins happen to let one get away, although I do not think that will happen today.