No. 6 UCLA Tops Cal State Fullerton, 6-2
FULLERTON, Calif. – The No. 6-ranked UCLA baseball team struck out a season-high 17 batters as part of a 6-2 win over Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday night at Goodwin Field.
The decision marked the sixth consecutive win for the Bruins (9-3), three of which have come against the Titans (4-7).
Junior right-hander Sean Mullen turned in his third consecutive standout start to lead the Bruins, striking out a career-high 10 and allowing just two hits over five scoreless innings. He received the win to improve to 3-0.
The outing extended what has been a dominant start to 2021 for Mullen, as the Bakersfield, Calif. native has not allowed an earned run in three starts and sports a 0.43 season ERA over 21.0 innings.
The Titans had their best shot at Mullen in the third, loading the bases on a single and two walks. However, Mullen wiped out the threat by freezing three-hitter Isaiah Garcia on a full-count, front door cutter for an inning-ending strikeout.
He later struck out the side in the fifth to escape a two-on jam.
The Titans gained a little momentum after potting two runs in the sixth following Mullen's departure. However, senior right-hander Adrian Chaidez limited the damage there, entering the game and striking out back-to-back batters to stem the rally. He K'd the first batter he faced on three pitches, then got Cameron Repetti to chase a breaking ball in the dirt for an inning-ending strikeout.
Senior righty Michael Townsend followed Chaidez and shifted momentum squarely back in UCLA's corner with a dominant two-inning relief effort, retiring six consecutive batters after the leadoff man reached on an error in the seventh.
Sophomore DH JT Schwartz led the Bruins' bats on Tuesday with two hits in four at-bats and a team-high two RBIs. He doubled to lead off the second inning and later opened the scoring with an RBI single in the third.
UCLA did most of its damage on the scoreboard in the fourth inning with a three-spot. Jarron Silva sparked that rally by working a full-count walk, then Noah Cardenas put the Bruins in business with a base hit up the middle. A sacrifice bunt by Kyle Karros put both runners in scoring position, a move which worked out when Mikey Perez blooped a single into right to score Silva. Back-to-back walks brought in another run before Matt McLain capped the rally with an RBI groundout.
The Bruins padded the lead with two runs in the ninth, as Kevin Kendall doubled following a leadoff walk to Perez to put two in scoring position with nobody out. UCLA cashed in both those runs on a Jack Filby RBI single and a sac fly from Schwartz.
UCLA plays its first true road series this weekend, heading to San Luis Obispo to face Cal Poly. The three-game set opens on Friday night at 6:00 p.m.