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UCLA Takes Down Top-Ranked Texas, 5-1

Mar 6, 2022
Kelly Austin (photo: Scott Chandler)

HOUSTON – Redshirt sophomore right-hander Kelly Austin and a pair of freshman relievers combined to allow just five hits on Sunday afternoon at Minute Maid Park as No. 23 UCLA defeated No. 1 Texas by a score of 5-1 in the final game for both teams at the 2022 Shriner's Children's College Classic.

The win made it a 2-1 weekend in Houston for the Bruins, who improved to 8-4 overall. Sunday's result marked the first loss of the 2022 campaign for the Longhorns (11-1). 

UCLA's victory was its first over a top-ranked team since defeating Oregon State in the final game of the 2018 season.

The Bruins' trio of pitchers did an excellent job of taming the Texas lineup throughout the contest, with Ivan Melendez's solo home run to lead off the fourth standing as the team's only extra-base hit of the contest.

Besides that roundtripper, Austin was hardly pressed the rest of his start, allowing just one other runner to get into scoring position. He matched a season-high with eight strikeouts while pitching into the sixth inning.

Austin made way for right-hander Luke Jewett after a one-out walk in the sixth, and Jewett proceeded to get a backwards K for the second out before inducing an inning-ending fly ball to right-center field.

Right-hander Alonzo Tredwell did the rest from there, pitching the final three innings of the game and facing the minimum.

Tredwell rolled up a 4-6-3 double play ball with his very first pitch of the game, struck out the side in order in the eighth, and gave up just a one-out single in the ninth en route to his second save of the year. Austin ended up receiving the win, his first at the Division I level.

Offensively the Bruins were led by sophomore right fielder Carson Yates (2-4, triple) and freshman second baseman Ethan Gourson (2-4, two doubles, RBI). Junior third baseman Michael Curialle added a pair of base hits, and graduate left fielder Kenny Oyama scored twice and stole a pair of bases.

After two quick innings to start the game, UCLA opened the scoring with a single run in the third. Gourson opened up that frame with an opposite-field double, later scoring on an RBI base hit from junior catcher Darius Perry.

Texas briefly tied it up on Melendez's home run, but UCLA responded with a two-spot in the fifth to take the lead for good. Oyama set the tinder for that rally, reaching on a one-out walk and then stealing both second and third. He came around on a bloop single from graduate first baseman Jake Palmer, who scored himself later in the inning on a passed ball.

Yates and Gourson went triple-double to open up the sixth inning and add a run for the Bruins, and UCLA received a little extra insurance in the ninth when Oyama scored on a Curialle squeeze bunt.

Overall, UCLA outscored its opponents 21-6 over the weekend.

UCLA is set to play its next seven games at home, starting on Tuesday against Cal State Fullerton. First pitch for that game is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. PT.