Bruins Top WSU 16-7, Clinch Series
PULLMAN, Wash. – The No. 25-ranked UCLA baseball team scored in seven different innings to record a series-clinching 16-7 win over Washington State on Sunday afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field.
The Bruins (27-15, 14-10 Pac-12) scored early and often in the contest, plating 11 runs by the fourth inning including a trio of crooked-number rallies.
Washington State (23-19, 10-14) kept pace with the Bruins early, briefly taking leads of 4-3 in the first and 5-4 in the second, but the Bruins mostly kept their bats quiet the rest of the contest.
Redshirt sophomore first baseman JT Schwartz led the Bruin offense on Sunday, posting a career-high four hits while driving in three runs and scoring a pair himself.
He was one of five Bruins to collect multiple hits in the game, joining senior outfielder Jarron Silva (3-4, three RBIs), junior second baseman Kevin Kendall (2-6, three runs), junior catcher Noah Cardenas (2-4, three runs), and junior shortstop Mikey Perez (2-4, two RBIs, two runs).
The Bruins scored in four consecutive frames to start the game, going ahead for good with a two-spot in the third.
Things started off auspiciously enough for the Bruins, as the first four batters of the game reached base and all but one eventually scored as part of a three-run rally in the first. Junior DH Jake Moberg opened the scoring after wearing a 1-2 pitch with the bases loaded to force in a run, and two more later came in on a Kyle Cuellar sac fly and an error on a Noah Cardenas grounder.
Trailing by a run in the second, Moberg tied it back up for the Bruins with a ground-rule double over the right-center field wall.
Silva was at the center of UCLA's go-ahead rally in the third, bouncing a grounder through the right side to score Perez and Cardenas and make it 6-5.
The Bruins pulled away with a five-spot in the fourth, batting around as a part of a five-single frame that was helped along by a WSU error. Cardenas, Kendall, and Schwartz all notched RBI singles during the rally.
Later on, the Bruins strung together three consecutive hits (including back-to-back doubles from Silva and Schwartz) as part of a three-run rally in the sixth. UCLA capped the offensive explosion with RBI singles from Schwartz in the eighth and Perez in the ninth.
WSU's offense was largely held in check after the second inning, scoring just two runs over the remainder of the game. UCLA's bullpen was particularly effective, with Adrian Chaidez, Michael Townsend, and Max Rajcic combining to allow just three hits over 4 2/3 scoreless innings.
Townsend was awarded the win on Sunday, giving him the decision in all three games of the WSU series. Max Rajcic got the final six outs of the game, allowing just a single in the ninth.
UCLA returns to action on Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m., concluding a four-game road swing with a midweek contest at LMU.