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Bruins Top Utah 13-3, Clinch Series

Apr 17, 2021
Josh Hahn (photo: Scott Chandler)

LOS ANGELES – The No. 25-ranked UCLA baseball team clinched a series win over Utah on Saturday afternoon with a 13-3 victory at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

The Bruins (20-11, 8-6 Pac-12) have now won four consecutive games and have outscored their opponents 51-6 in that span. Utah dropped to 8-20, 4-10.

UCLA matched a season-high for the second straight day with eight extra-base hits, and reached double digits in the run column for the third consecutive game. The Bruins held leads of 4-0 and 11-1 before the Utes scored three runs in the late innings to break the shutout.

Sophomore right fielder Michael Curialle and junior center fielder Kevin Kendall paced the Bruins offensively against the Utes.

Curialle had a pair of triples in the contest, including one with the bases loaded that drove in three. A day after posting seven RBIs (UCLA's most in a single game since 2017), Kendall followed that up with a 3-4 performance on Saturday that included a solo home run.

Sophomore DH Josh Hahn also stood out in the win, putting on perhaps the at-bat of the year for the Bruins in the sixth inning. Entering the game as a pinch-hitter, Hahn spoiled five consecutive 3-2 offerings before hammering the 11th pitch of the at-bat over the right field fence for a three-run home run. He later singled as part of a 2-2 day.

Junior right-hander Sean Mullen did his part to keep the Utes at bay in the first Saturday start of his career.

Mullen allowed just three hits and one earned over 5 1/3 innings, striking out seven.

He settled down after a somewhat shaky first, retiring 12 of 13 batters from the start of the second through the end of the fifth. He retired eight straight batters at one point before a leadoff single from Utah's Jaylon McLaughlin to open the sixth.

Mullen received the win to improve to 7-1 on the year and maintain the Pac-12 Conference lead in pitching victories.

The Bruins went ahead for good with two runs early on in the second inning, as Mikey Perez and Noah Cardenas produced back-to-back doubles to plate a run. Cardenas scored later in the frame on a wild pitch.

Kendall produced the game-winning run with a solo blast in the fifth that made it 4-0. Entering the weekend with one home run under his belt for the campaign, he's hit three roundtrippers in two days against the Utes.

UCLA would put the game on ice with a seven-run sixth inning, with all of the runs scoring before an out was recorded. Curialle drove in the first three runs of that frame with his second three-bagger of the day, shooting a liner into the right-center field gap and legging it out. Freshman third baseman Kyle Karros followed with a sharp RBI single, and Hahn capped off the rally with his pinch-hit blast.

The Bruins aim for the series sweep on Sunday afternoon. First pitch against Utah is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.