Bruins Notch Walk-Off 4-3 Win Over UC Irvine
LOS ANGELES – The No. 8-ranked UCLA baseball team overcame a two-run deficit to secure a 4-3, walk-off win over UC Irvine on Friday night, with junior first baseman Jack Filby drawing a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth to plate the game-winning run.
The Bruins (3-2) trailed for most of the game, but leveled the score at 3-3 with a two-run rally in the seventh which set the stage for the ninth-inning drama.
Junior second baseman Mikey Perez sparked the game-winning rally by ripping an 0-1 pitch off the third baseman's glove and into left field for a one-out double. He moved to third base on a solid opposite field single from freshman third baseman Kyle Karros, then the Anteaters (3-1) opted to intentionally walk junior center fielder Kevin Kendall, which loaded the bases for Filby.
Filby, who was 1-3 to that point in the game, didn't have to take the bat off his shoulder during the game-winning plate appearance, as UCI reliever Josh Ibarra threw four consecutive pitches out of the zone.
The walk-off made a winner out of UCLA reliever Kyle Mora, who tossed a three-up, three-down top of the ninth which was finished off by a nice play from junior shortstop Matt McLain on a soft grounder to his right.
Mora was the last of six UCLA relievers used in Friday's contest. Senior right-hander Zach Pettway – the Bruins' Opening Day starter in both 2019 and 2020 – made his season debut with a scoreless sixth inning. He struck out the first batter he faced on a high fastball, hit the next batter, then ended the inning with a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play.
Freshman right-hander Jake Brooks made his NCAA debut in the contest, striking out a pair in 2/3 innings of work.
Sophomore righty Jared Karros drew the start for the Bruins and received a no-decision after allowing two earned runs and striking out five in 4 1/3 innings.
UCLA tied the game using team speed and a bit of good fortune in the seventh inning. With a runner on first and one out, Perez got the Bruins in business after his check swing on a 1-1 pitch sent the ball over UCI first baseman Adrian Damla's head for a base hit that put runners on the corners.
With Kyle Karros at the plate, UCLA executed a double steal and managed to advance both runners safely, as Perez snuck in under the tag at second base and Jarron Silva scored from third without a throw. After moving to third on a groundout, Perez scored the game-tying run after Kendall beat UCI pitcher Jacob King to the first base bag on a chopper into the 3-4 hole.
Silva opened the scoring for UCLA with an RBI single in the second inning. The Bruins fell behind 1-0 after the first and 2-1 midway through the fourth, and had earlier potential game-tying rallies negated by double plays in the third and sixth innings.
For UCI, the 2-3-4 spots in the lineup went 4-8, but the rest of the team combined to go 1-20. Center fielder Mike Peabody (2-3) was the lone Anteater with multiple hits.
UCLA and UCI move the series to Orange County on Saturday, with the two teams facing off at 1:00 p.m. from Anteater Park in Irvine. The contest will be streamed live on Big West TV. The series returns to Jackie Robinson Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
— UCLA Baseball (@UCLABaseball) February 27, 2021