UCLA Walks it Off in Extras, Takes 5-3 Rubber Match Against CSUN
LOS ANGELES – Ethan Gourson's walk-off homer in the bottom of the 13th secured No. 22 UCLA's 5-3 rubber match victory over CSUN on Sunday evening at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
A freshman in just his third-career game for the Bruins, Gourson finished the day 2-4 with a pair of walks to his credit.
The Bruins were aided by four errors from the Matadors, three of which led to runs for UCLA. UCLA led, 3-0 heading into the ninth inning before a three-run home run from CSUN's Andrew Sojka tied the game and sent it into extras.
Following the ninth-inning blast, Bruin pitchers Charles Harrison, Luke Jewett, and Jake Saum combined to throw four innings of scoreless relief.
Kelly Austin was lights out in his first start of the year, going six scoreless innings and allowing just three hits without a walk. He added eight strikeouts in the win.
Austin pitched a scoreless top of the first before the Bruins got on the board in the bottom half, courtesy of a two-out rally. Michael Curialle singled and advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt, allowing Jake Palmer to drive him in with a single through the right side and give UCLA an early 1-0 lead.
Austin and CSUN starter, Ryan Wentz, traded zeroes through the second, third, and fourth innings before the Bruins tacked a second run on the board in the bottom of the fifth. After Kenny Oyama reached on a fielder's choice, he advanced to second on another failed pickoff attempt and proceeded to steal third. He would score on a throwing error from CSUN catcher, Sebastian Garcia, making it 2-0, Bruins.
The top half of the sixth saw Austin post a shutdown inning, picking up a K and inducing two strikeouts to bring the Bruins back to the plate.
Jack Holman led off the bottom half of the sixth with a single and Alex Fernandes entered as a pinch-runner. Fernandes would reach third and later scored on an RBI single from Malakhi Knight.
Thatcher Hurd entered in relief of Austin and tossed scoreless seventh and eighth innings.
The game went into extras and the teams exchanged scoreless halves of the 10th inning. UCLA came up in the bottom of the 11th and put two men on with one out, but a double play ended the inning and sent the game to the 12th.
Jake Saum pitched two-and-a-third innings of shutout relief before the Bruins came up in the bottom of the 13th inning and won it on Gourson's two-run shot.
The Bruins return to action for a game against Pepperdine on Tuesday, Feb. 22. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks.