Bruins Edge Pepperdine in Midweek Action, 5-4
MALIBU, Calif. – Behind a stellar relief outing from junior southpaw Daniel Colwell and a four-hit day from senior left fielder Kyle Cuellar, the UCLA baseball team notched a 5-4 midweek win over Pepperdine on Tuesday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
With the win, UCLA improved to 22-11 overall on the season and 6-0 in midweeks. Pepperdine dropped to 12-14.
The Bruins fell behind 3-1 by the end of the first inning, but UCLA's bullpen limited the Waves to one run over the remainder of the game to take the win.
UCLA charged ahead for good with three runs in the fourth, then plated the game-winning run in the next frame.
The Bruins loaded the bases with one out and were able to cash in all three runners during the go-ahead rally. JT Schwartz brought in the first run with a fly ball to the track in right that was just a few feet short of a grand slam, and Mikey Perez brought in two more with a grounder that hit off the third base bag and kicked into left for a two-run double.
Cuellar capped UCLA's scoring with an RBI single in the fourth, driving in Michael Curialle for what turned out to be the game-winning run. It was the third of four singles on the day for Cuellar.
Junior shortstop Matt McLain also had a solid day with the bat, going 3-3 with a walk and a sac fly.
Inheriting a two-on, one-out jam in the second inning, Colwell started a dominant collective run by the UCLA bullpen.
The Berkeley, Calif. native got out of that second-inning jam with a foul pop and a swinging strikeout, then proceeded to retire the next six batters in order.
He allowed just one hit on the day, a single to lead off the fifth, but promptly rolled up a 4-6-3 double play ball to wipe it out. He ultimately faced the minimum while establishing new career highs in both innings (4.0) and strikeouts (four). Colwell ultimately got the win to improve to 2-0; it's the second consecutive Tuesday game in which he's earned the victory with an extended outing as the first man out of the 'pen.
Senior righties Adrian Chaidez and Michael Townsend followed with 1-2-3 frames in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, to set up the save situation for freshman right-hander Max Rajcic. Pepperdine second baseman John Peck started the ninth with a solo homer off Rajcic, who bounced back after that to get the next three batters in a row to seal up the win and earn his second save of the season.
Collectively, UCLA's bullpen allowed just two hits and one run over 7 2/3 innings while striking out eight.
UCLA wraps up a four-game road trip this weekend with a Pac-12 set at league rival Oregon starting on Friday night at 6:00 p.m. All three games of that conference series will be streamed live on Pac-12.com/live.