UCLA Drops USF Rubber Match, 8-3
LOS ANGELES – The No. 2-ranked UCLA baseball team surrendered six runs in the late innings as part of an 8-3 loss to visiting San Francisco in Sunday afternoon's rubber match at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
The Bruins (1-2) held leads of 1-0 and 3-1 in the early innings, but the Dons (2-1) would go on to tie the game in the seventh, go ahead with a run in the next inning, and then pad the lead with a four-spot in the ninth.
Junior right-hander Nick Nastrini had a solid start on the mound for the Bruins, recording a season-high 11 strikeouts and allowing just four hits while pitching into the seventh inning.
Junior shortstop Matt McLain put the Bruins ahead with a solo home run in the first inning – his first roundtripper of the year – unloading on a 1-0 fastball and depositing it over the left field fence.
The Bruins would go on to put up a two-spot in the second inning to reach their biggest lead of the day at 3-1. UCLA made USF starter Grant Nechak pay for back-to-back walks to start the frame, as freshman first baseman Kyle Karros sent a liner into the left-center gap to cash in both runners.
Nechak and the USF bullpen would hold off the Bruins the rest of the way.
Freshman righty Aidan Lee did most of the heavy lifting for the Dons, turning a 3 1/3 inning relief effort without allowing a run or hit. Freshman Jesse Barron finished it off for USF, getting the last four outs of the game while allowing ninth-inning singles to junior DH Jack Filby and sophomore pinch-hitter Josh Hahn.
Nastrini had his strikeout pitch going on Sunday, recording at least one K in each inning he pitched while recording multiple strikeouts in each of his first three innings of work. He struck out the side in the second inning to limit the damage to one run after Harris Williams tripled into right-center and later scored for USF.
It was the first double-digit strikeout performance of Nastrini's career, topping his previous career-high of nine, set against Loyola Marymount on Feb. 19, 2019.
UCLA, which plays 10 of its first 11 games at home in 2021, returns to action on Tuesday evening with a midweek matchup against LMU. First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium.