UCLA Strikes Early in 13-6 Win Over LMU
LOS ANGELES – The No. 10-ranked UCLA baseball team scored eight runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back in a 13-6 win over Loyola Marymount on Tuesday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
The victory moved UCLA's record to 13-6 overall and 4-0 this season in midweeks. LMU dropped to 7-12.
The eight-run missive in the first was the biggest blow in what turned out to be an extremely offensive start to the game, with both teams doing all their scoring for the game over the first three innings.
Redshirt freshman left fielder Emanuel Dean had a career day to lead the Bruin offense, going 4-5 and driving in a run during each of the team's first three offensive innings. Junior center fielder Kevin Kendall added three hits and scored three runs, while four other Bruins also finished with multiple hits.
LMU was led by five-hitter Alec Cargin, who homered in his first two at-bats to drive in half of his team's runs.
"It's really crazy to think that all the runs were scored in the first three innings of the game" said UCLA head coach John Savage. "You put up all those zeroes after that, the bullpen did a really good job of calming the waters."
The Lions struck first in Tuesday's contest, putting up a three-spot in the top of the first capped off by Cargin's first roundtripper.
UCLA immediately responded with eight runs in the bottom of the first, the team's highest single-inning run production so far in 2021. All but one of those runs came with two outs.
Dean and junior shortstop Matt McLain had the two biggest hits during that opening rally. With two on, Dean went oppo down the right field line for a two-run triple, his first career extra-base hit. After the Bruins had already batted around, McLain drove in what turned out to be the game-winning run with a bases-clearing double into the left field corner. Twelve Bruins batters ultimately came to bat during the opening frame.
Dean followed with run-scoring base hits in the second and third innings to keep the runs flowing for UCLA. JT Schwartz (double down the left field line), Mikey Perez (grounder up the middle and off the shortstop's glove) and Kyle Karros (sharp single through the left side) also drove in runs during a four-run third.
UCLA's pitching settled down after allowing runs in each of the first three innings, with six Bruin pitchers holding them off the scoreboard the rest of the way.
Sophomore lefty Jake Saum had the strongest outing of any Bruin hurler, going six-up, six-down in his two innings of work and striking out three. He and Charles Harrison, who pitched the third inning, combined to halt the Lions' offensive momentum by retiring nine consecutive batters.
Freshman righty Max Rajcic, senior righty Kyle Mora, senior righty Michael Townsend, and junior righty Sean Mullen all followed with scoreless innings of work to preserve the win.
Rajcic made his NCAA debut on Tuesday, bouncing back to retire three straight batters after allowing a double to the first batter he faced. Sophomore catcher Darius Perry started for the first time in his career and also singled in the sixth inning to notch his first collegiate hit.
UCLA returns to action this weekend with a conference set at crosstown rival USC starting on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. The entirety of the three game series will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.