UCLA Drops Series Opener to Washington, 8-6
LOS ANGELES – The No. 9-ranked UCLA baseball team allowed three runs in the top of the first and was never able to make up the deficit in an 8-6 Pac-12 loss to Washington on Thursday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Trailing 7-1 in the middle of the eighth, the Bruins (15-8, 4-3 Pac-12) plated five runs in the bottom half to make it a one-run game, but the Huskies (9-13, 1-6) added an insurance run in the top of the ninth and held on for the win.
Junior center fielder Kevin Kendall went 2-5 and scored a pair of runs to lead the UCLA offense. The Bruins' bullpen combined to allow one earned run over three innings.
UCLA produced the majority of its offense in a five-run eighth, batting around and ultimately sending 11 batters to the plate during the frame.
The first three batters of the inning all reached on base hits – the left-hitting Jack Filby and Kendall both had opposite field base hits before Matt McLain legged out an infield chopper – allowing the Bruins to capitalize when Washington pitchers had issues finding the zone later in the inning. The Bruins ultimately ended up bringing in the runs on a throwing error, a wild pitch, a sac fly, and two bases-loaded walks.
The Bruins looked like they might have a go-ahead hit in the eighth when Kendall laced a line drive up the middle with the bases loaded and two outs, but Washington shortstop Ramon Bramasco was shaded towards the second base bag and was able to snag the hot shot and leave the bases loaded.
Washington used a balance attack to produce its eight runs, with all but one starter recording a hit and each of the first six batters in the lineup scoring a run. Right fielder Will Simpson was the offensive standout for the Huskies, going 2-4 with three RBIs.
He opened the day's scoring with a two-run home run to right field in the top of the first, and later doubled sharply into left field to make it 5-1 in Washington's favor.
Washington starter Logan Gerling allowed three hits and one earned run over seven complete to receive the win.
UCLA and Washington continue the series on Friday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. The game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.