Baseball Falls in Cal Poly Rubber Match, 8-5
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The No. 6-ranked UCLA baseball team dropped a tightly-contested rubber match to Cal Poly by a score of 8-5 on Sunday afternoon at Baggett Stadium.
The Bruins (10-5) took an early lead with two runs in the top of the first, but the Mustangs (8-5) responded quickly, going ahead for good with multi-run rallies in the first and second. Cal Poly continued to apply pressure, bringing in at least one run in five of their offensive innings.
UCLA – which outhit the hosts 11-9 – received two-hit efforts from four separate players including junior shortstop Matt McLain, sophomore first baseman JT Schwartz, and sophomore right fielder Michael Curialle.
Redshirt freshman outfielder Emanuel Dean also had a pair of singles, giving him the first and second hits of his collegiate career.
Cal Poly was led offensively by Cole Cabrera (3-5, three runs) and Brooks Lee (2-4), who each homered and drove in two runs.
Trailing by four heading into the ninth inning, UCLA mounted a late comeback attempt. The Bruins were able to get the first three batters of that inning on base – Kevin Kendall led off with a two-bagger into the left-center gap before Mikey Perez and Matt McLain both walked – bringing the game-tying run to the plate.
Cal Poly summoned Bryan Woo into the game at that point, and the reliever did an effective job at stemming the rally, getting Schwartz to bounce to first for the first out (Kendall scored on the play) before retiring the next two batters to end the game.
The game started auspiciously for the Bruins, with four of the first five batters reaching in the top of the first. UCLA was able to bring in two runs during the rally, with Schwartz banging a breaking ball through the 3-4 hole for an RBI single before Curialle found the gap in right-center for a run-scoring double.
The Bruins would next score on an infield single from Dean that plated Curialle in the sixth. Josh Hahn briefly made it a three-run game in the eighth with a pinch-hit RBI single.
Senior righty Adrian Chaidez was the Bruins' most effective reliever on Sunday, retiring all three batters he faced in the seventh inning. UCLA starter Nick Nastrini was tagged with his first loss of the year after allowing six earned over four innings.
UCLA returns to action next weekend, hosting Arizona in the first Pac-12 series of the year for both teams. All three games of that series will be streamed on UCLABruins.com.