Bruins Edged by Washington, 7-6
LOS ANGELES – The No. 9-ranked UCLA baseball team was edged by Washington, 7-6, on Friday afternoon in the second game of a Pac-12 series at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
The Bruins (15-9, 4-4 Pac-12) led 5-1 after a fifth-inning grand slam from junior catcher Noah Cardenas, but saw the Huskies (10-13, 2-6) immediately strike back with a six-spot in the top of the sixth to establish a two-run.
UCLA would rally in the bottom of the ninth, parlaying a leadoff Kyle Cuellar walk into a run after a double in the left-center gap from Kevin Kendall and eventually getting the game-tying run to third base with one out, but UW's Adam Bloebaum came back with back-to-back strikeouts to end it.
Cardenas's grand slam – the first for UCLA since Chase Strumpf's at Arizona State on May 4, 2019 – was the Bruins' biggest offensive strike on Friday. The top five hitters in the lineup all finished with a hit, including Kendall who was 1-4 with two RBIs.
Washington was led by freshman first baseman Will Simpson, who went 3-4 with a run scored. Shortstop Ramon Bramasco finished 1-4 with a team-high three RBIs.
Bramasco had the key hit of the go-ahead rally in the sixth for the Huskies, driving a double off the right field wall with the bases loaded to score three. He came across minutes later on a Nick Kresnak base hit to right to plate what turned out to be the game-winning run.
Senior right-hander Michael Townsend was outstanding in relief for the Bruins, retiring all six batters he faced in order after entering the game with a runner on second and nobody out in the top of the eighth inning. Junior southpaw Daniel Colwell faced the minimum in the seventh, allowing just a bunt single but picking that runner off later in the frame.
Junior right-hander Jesse Bergin was solid in a 5 1/3 inning start, allowing two earned. He recorded a 1-2-3 frame in three of the six innings he entered.
Dylan Lamb provided 3 2/3 innings of hit-free relief for Washington to earn the win. Bloebaum recorded the save, his second of the season.
UCLA looks to salvage the series with a 12:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday afternoon. That game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.