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UCLA Slugs Its Way to 13-12 Win at Cal Poly

Mar 13, 2021
Noah Cardenas (photo: Don Liebig)

Box Score (PDF)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The No. 6-ranked UCLA baseball team scored 12 unanswered runs and held on for the win in a wild 13-12 affair on Saturday night at Cal Poly's Baggett Stadium.

The four-hour, 10-minute game featured plenty of offense for both teams. Cal Poly (7-5) went ahead early with five runs in the bottom of the first, but the Bruins (10-4) responded by scoring 12 consecutive runs to take a 12-5 lead heading into the middle of the sixth.

However, the Mustangs posted another five-spot in the bottom half of the sixth to make it a two-run game, and ultimately got the game-tying run into scoring position in the bottom of the ninth before Sean Mullen got Brooks Lee to ground out to second to end the game.

Every starter in the UCLA lineup recorded a hit on Saturday. Standout performers included junior second baseman Mikey Perez (2-3, two home runs, four RBIs), junior catcher Noah Cardenas (2-5, five RBIs), and redshirt junior center fielder Kevin Kendall (3-6, two RBIs).

Lee was the top offensive performer for Cal Poly, collecting three doubles in six at-bats. Myles Emmerson (3-6, two RBIs) and Nick DiCarlo (3-5, three runs, two RBIs) joined Lee in the three-hit club.

After going down by five in the first, UCLA immediately struck back with four runs in the top of the second. Freshman Carson Yates opened the scoring ledger for the Bruins with an RBI single to left that plated Michael Curialle, then Cardenas brought the Bruins within one with a three-run homer to left. It was Cardenas's first home run since Jun. 2, 2019.

The Bruins kept it going in the third, going ahead for good with a five-spot. Perez provided the big swing of that rally, driving in three runs with his first home run of the day. Kendall later brought in two more runs with an RBI single up the middle.

Cardenas provided UCLA's third consecutive crooked number with a bases-loaded double into the right field corner in the fourth, plating a pair and giving him his career-high fourth and fifth RBIs of the day.

Perez hit a solo shot in the sixth – making him the first Bruin since Ryan Kreidler and Jeremy Ydens on May 19, 2019 to hit multiple home runs in one game – to cap UCLA's stretch of 12 unanswered runs.

The Bruins rallied for one more run in the ninth – Matt McLain drove in Kyle Karros with a sac fly after UCLA loaded the bags on an error, single, and four-pitch walk – which ultimately turned out be the deciding margin.

During their last ups, Cal Poly rallied for three singles against UCLA right-hander Sean Mullen, scoring two runs and getting the tying run to second base after a wild pitch with two outs. However, Mullen bounced back and rolled up a harmless ground ball from Lee to record the final out and earn his second save of the season.

UCLA starting pitcher Jesse Bergin earned the win to improve to 3-1 on the season. He allowed six runs – just two of which were earned – over five innings of work.

The Bruins and Mustangs decide the series on Sunday afternoon with a 1:00 p.m. rubber match.