UCLA Doubles Up USC, 6-3, to Even Series
LOS ANGELES – The No. 10-ranked UCLA baseball team evened its series against crosstown rival USC with a 6-3 victory on Saturday night at Dedeaux Field.
The Bruins (14-7, 3-2 Pac-12) never trailed in the contest, opening the scoring with a two-spot in the fourth and adding three insurance runs late to top the Trojans (10-8, 4-1).
Four separate UCLA batters recorded multiple hits on Saturday, including standout performances from sophomore DH Josh Hahn (2-4, three RBIs) and junior center fielder Kevin Kendall (2-5, two RBIs). Senior left fielder Kyle Cuellar had a single and a double in his first appearance since Feb. 21.
Hahn got the Bruins on the board with a two-run triple in the fourth, driving a high fly ball to the deepest part of the park in right-center field to plate Mikey Perez and Matt McLain.
The Trojans answered back with a single run in the bottom half of the fourth, then the two teams swapped runs in the fifth to set up a 3-2 battle heading into the home stretch. The Bruins created some cushion – and scored the eventual game-winning run – with a two-spot in the eighth as Perez and Hahn collected RBI base hits as part of a three-hit rally.
For good measure, Kendall collected his second RBI single of the evening in the top of the ninth.
UCLA had a solid performance on the mound collectively, with five pitchers teaming up to hold USC to just five hits and three runs.
Sophomore lefty Jake Saum was especially impressive as the first man out of the bullpen, pitching 2 1/3 innings without allowing a hit to earn the win and even his record at 2-2. He retired the first seven batters he faced, and would have gone eight-up, eight-down if not for a two-out error in the bottom of the seventh.
Senior righty Michael Townsend and freshman righty Max Rajcic closed it out with a scoreless inning apiece. The Trojans only got one baserunner on against Rajcic – on an error – who earned his first career save.
UCLA starter Jesse Bergin allowed just two runs and three hits over 4 1/3 innings of work, striking out four. He retired the first eight batters he faced in the contest, and didn't surrender a hit until the fourth inning.
The Bruins and Trojans decide the weekend series with a Sunday rubber match starting at 4:00 p.m. The contest will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks and streamed on the Pac-12 Now app.