Bruins Fall in OSU Series Finale, 5-3
LOS ANGELES – The UCLA baseball team allowed three unearned runs in the top of the first and was never able to make up the deficit in a 5-3 loss to Oregon State on Sunday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
The defeat prevented a weekend sweep for the Bruins (25-14, 12-9 Pac-12), who had clinched the series with a 6-5 walk-off win on Friday followed by a 2-0 shutout on Saturday.
With the two-run margin, UCLA has now played seven consecutive games decided by two runs or fewer, a first for the program under 17th-year head coach John Savage.
The Bruins remained close for the duration of Sunday's game. UCLA got within a run after homers from JT Schwartz in the first inning and Kyle Karros in the fifth, and got the tying run into scoring position in the bottom of the ninth.
Schwartz and Karros were the focal point of that would-be ninth-inning rally as well, with the former leading off the frame with a walk before moving to third on a two-out Karros double. It turned out to be too little, too late for the Bruins unfortunately as Oregon State (29-14, 11-7) closer Jake Mulholland induced a game-ending flyout from the next batter.
The Beavers posted the decisive rally of the game in the top of the first, following up a UCLA error with four consecutive singles to plate three runs. All runners reached base with two outs.
UCLA right-hander Jesse Bergin bounced back after the first inning, limiting OSU to just three hits and one earned run over the remainder of his 6 2/3 inning start.
Bruin relievers Adrian Chaidez, Daniel Colwell, and Michael Townsend combined to strike out four over 2 1/3 innings, holding the Beavers to two hits and no earned runs.
Jake Pfennigs received the win with five innings of three-run ball. He allowed just three hits in the contest, the roundtrippers from Schwartz and Karros and a bloop double by Noah Cardenas. OSU's 'pen followed with four scoreless to cement the victory.
UCLA returns to action with a three-game set next weekend at Washington State, starting on Friday night at 6:05 p.m. PT.