Tonight, the UCLA Bruins baseball team open this weekend’s Southern California College Baseball Classic at home with a game against the Vanderbilt Commodores. First pitch for tonight’s game is at 6 pm PT.
This weekend’s games are the latest installment in what used to be called the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic and, before that, the Dodgertown College Baseball Classic.
In past years, the final two games were played at Dodger Stadium, but this year’s event will be played on only on the UCLA and Southern Cal campuses due to renovations to Dodger Stadium.
Last Time Out
On Tuesday night, the Bruins traveled to UC Santa Barbara and lost to the Gauchos, 8-5, when the bullpen suffered its worst outing of the young season. Bruin relievers gave up a total of five runs (four earned) in five innings’ worth of work.
Adrian Chaidez, who came in for starter Jared Karros in the fifth inning, gave up a pair of runs despite pitching just 1⁄3 of an inning and took the loss.
Karros started the inning with a walk and John Savage had seen enough from the freshman. Chaidez entered the game and walked the next batter on four pitches including a wild pitch. He then gave up a single to load the bases. After striking out Christian Kirtley, Chaidez was done.
And, so were the Bruins.
While the Bruins scored a run in the top of the ninth, UCLA’s bats just couldn’t catch up, especially after the Gauchos added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth.
In UCLA’s first game as part of the Southern California College Baseball Classic, the Bruins will meet defending national champion Vanderbilt. The Commodores haven’t named a starter for tonight’s game. Of course, Zach Pettway will take the hill for the Bruins. Pettway has been stellar so far this season.
Last Friday, against Oklahoma State, Pettway went seven scoreless innings and allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out four, which earned him his second win of the season against no losses.
Regardless of who Vandy has on the mound, look for tonight’s game to be a pitchers’ dual given that the Commodores are ranked in the top five in each of the five college baseball polls.
Tonight’s game will likely come down to the team with the stronger bullpen and, despite Tuesday’s hiccup, I think that’s the Bruins.