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Bruins' Regional Run Ends With 8-2 Loss to Texas Tech

Jun 6, 2021
Noah Cardenas (photo: Elise Bressler)

LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 21-ranked UCLA baseball team was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament after falling 8-2 to Texas Tech on Sunday night in the Lubbock Regional Final at Rip Griffin Park.

The Bruins, who had reached the Final after taking down Army and North Carolina in successive games, end the season with a 37-20 record.

Texas Tech, which went 3-0 in Regional play, improved to 39-15 and will advance to Super Regionals.

UCLA opened the scoring in the contest, as Kevin Kendall led the game off with a slice double down the left field line before scoring on a Matt McLain sac fly. It was the fourth time in as many games this weekend that the Bruins scored in the first inning.

The lead didn't last long however, as TTU rallied for a game-tying run in the next half-inning before going ahead for good with a three-spot in the third. The Red Raiders stretched the lead with another three-spot in the fifth, sandwiching a Nate Rombach triple with a pair of RBI singles. All three hits came with two outs.

The Bruins scored one more time in the game, as freshman center fielder JonJon Vaughns led off the third with an opposite field single to left, moved to second on a Pat Caulfield HBP, then scored while attempting to steal third after the throw from the TTU catcher went high and into the outfield.

UCLA used four pitchers over the course of the contest, with all completing at least two innings. Senior right-hander Michael Townsend had the most effective performance, going 1-2-3 in the sixth and ultimately retiring six of the seven batters he faced over two innings of scoreless ball.

Texas Tech was led by right fielder Easton Murrell, who went 3-3 with a pair of RBIs. Jace Jung added two hits and scored two runs while Kurt Wilson reached three times and drove in a pair. Left-hander Mason Montgomery picked up the win for the Red Raiders with five innings of two-run, eight-strikeout ball. The TTU bullpen posted four scoreless frames.

2021 NCAA LUBBOCK REGIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
C – Braxton Fulford, Texas Tech
1B – JT Schwartz, UCLA
2B – Jace Jung, Texas Tech
SS – Matt McLain, UCLA
3B – Jake Moberg, UCLA
LF – Angel Zarate, North Carolina
CF – Kurt Wilson, Texas Tech
RF – Easton Murrell, Texas Tech
DH – Cole Stilwell, Texas Tech
P – Ryan Sublette, Texas Tech
P – Zach Pettway, UCLA
Most Outstanding Player – Kurt Wilson, Texas Tech