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Bruins Topped in WSU Series Opener, 5-2

May 7, 2021
Zach Pettway (photo: Shelly Hanks/WSU Athletics)

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to break a 2-2 deadlock and claim a 5-2 victory over No. 25 UCLA in Friday night's Pac-12 series opener at Bailey-Brayton Field.

The decisive three-spot spoiled a solid start from UCLA senior right-hander Zach Pettway, who allowed just three hits over six innings. The Bruins' record moved to 25-15, 12-10 Pac-12 with the loss. Friday also marked UCLA's first game to be decided by more than two runs since Apr. 18, breaking a streak of seven consecutive two-run contests.

The first seven innings of the game looked like a typical Friday night in the Pac-12, with little offense coming from either team.

Freshman center fielder JonJon Vaughns, who was making his first career start on Friday, opened the game's scoring in the fifth by barreling up a 2-0 offering from WSU (23-17, 10-12) starter Brandon White and sending it over the wall in right-center field for a two-run home run.

That turned out to be the only two runs the Bruins would scratch across, with the Cougars tying it up on a two-run Tristan Peterson home run in the sixth before going ahead for good in the eighth.

The Peterson home run in the sixth marred what was an otherwise an outstanding start from Pettway, who took a one-hitter into the sixth inning and ended his outing with five strikeouts.

The Cougars didn't muster even a single runner in scoring position before Peterson's game-tying roundtripper, and Pettway faced the minimum in three of the six innings he pitched.

Senior righty Adrian Chaidez followed with a dominant inning of relief in the seventh, striking out the side in order, inducing swinging-strike-threes from each batter he faced.

White scattered six hits for WSU over 6 1/3 innings, drawing a no-decision. Relievers Michael Newstrom and Connor Barison each tossed 1 1/3 relief innings without allowing a hit. Barison recorded the win, his first decision of 2021.

UCLA looks to even the series tomorrow afternoon behind junior right-hander Sean Mullen. First pitch from Bailey-Brayton Field is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. PT.