No. 21 UCLA Rolls to 12-0 WIn Over UC Riverside
LOS ANGELES – The No. 21-ranked UCLA baseball team scored three runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back in a 12-0 win over UC Riverside on Saturday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
The Bruins (4-3) got it done on both sides of the ball against the Highlanders (0-6), scoring in six of eight offensive innings en route to a season-high in runs while sophomore right-hander Max Rajcic and a pair of relievers combined to throw a four-hitter.
The shutout was UCLA's first of the year, and clinched the series win over UCR.
The Bruins turned in the decisive rally in their very first at-bats on Saturday, posting three runs on three hits off UCR starter Joey Magrisi in the bottom of the first.
A day after opening the scoring and driving in what turned out to be the game-winning run, junior shortstop Michael Curialle accomplished the feat again on Saturday by driving a liner into the right-center field gap for an RBI triple off Magrisi. Curialle came in himself – alongside DH Josh Hahn, who reached on a walk – on a solid Ethan Gourson base hit to right field.
The Bruins continued to apply pressure throughout the course of the game, scoring in all but two innings.
In the second, Jake Palmer rolled a grounder through the right side to plate a single run.
UCLA went on to manufacture a run in the fourth, as JonJon Vaughns walked, stole second, moved to third on a sac bunt, then scored on a Kenny Oyama sac fly.
The first four Bruins to bat in the fifth all collected hits, including three straight doubles to open the frame. UCLA would go on to post three runs in that inning.
Vaughns – who had a double, triple, and walked three times to reach base in all five of his plate appearances – sparked a three-run rally in the seventh by short-hopping the wall in right-center field to lead it off.
While UCLA's offense was consistently getting runs on the board, Bruin pitchers were successful in keeping the Highlanders from doing the same.
Sophomore Max Rajcic started it off with five innings of shutout ball in his longest college outing to date. The Fullerton, Calif. native struck out five and allowed just two hits while walking a pair.
He didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning – a hot shot to third base – and held UCR to an 0-8 line with runners on base. The visitors got a runner in scoring position just once against Rajcic after a pair of walks in the third, but the Preseason All-American came up with a clutch strikeout of three-hitter Dylan Orick to strand both runners.
Freshman lefty Ethan Flanagan and junior right-hander Charles Harrison each followed with two innings of scoreless relief. The duo allowed just one single apiece, with Harrison rolling up a game-ending double play ball after his knock to face the minimum.
The Bruins and Highlanders finish off the series on Sunday afternoon starting at 1:00 p.m. The game will be streamed live on UCLABruins.com.