Bruins Drop Rubber Match to USC, 6-3
LOS ANGELES – No. 15 UCLA allowed five runs in the top of the first and could never overcome the deficit in a 6-3 rubber match loss to USC on Sunday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Sophomore catcher Darius Perry (2-3) and graduate left fielder Kenny Oyama (2-4, RBI) both had multi-hit days to lead the Bruins, who dropped to 10-6 overall with a 1-2 mark in Pac-12 play.
Freshman right-handers Thatcher Hurd and Alonzo Tredwell combined to limit the Trojans (11-3, 2-1) to a single unearned run over the final 5 1/3 innings of the game.
USC produced the game-winning rally with a five-spot in the top of the first inning. The first three batters of that frame reached, with a pair coming in on a seeing-eye single through the right side from three-hitter Tyresse Turner. Later in the inning, catcher Garret Guillemette hit a two-run homer just inside the left field foul pole to cap off the rally.
UCLA had chances to get runs on the board – the Bruins and Trojans were tied with 10 hits apiece, while the Bruins got the leadoff runner on in six of nine innings – but couldn't produce a crooked number.
Oyama got the Bruins on the board with an RBI groundout in the third, bringing home JonJon Vaughns who had led off the frame with a five-pitch walk.
Back-to-back singles from Michael Curialle and Vaughns to lead off the fifth allowed UCLA to plate another run, with Curialle coming across on a deep sac fly from freshman center fielder Malakhi Knight.
Graduate first baseman Jake Palmer one-hopped the left-center field wall in the eighth inning for a double that scored Oyama all the way from first base, bringing the Bruins within three but ultimately serving as the final run of the game.
UCLA redshirt sophomore Kelly Austin was on the mound for the first inning, but largely settled down after that, holding the Trojans off the board for the remainder of his 3 2/3 inning start.
Hurd took over with two outs in the third, holding USC to four hits – all singles – over 4 1/3 frames. Tredwell finished it off with a 1-2-3 ninth, needing just six pitchers to retire the side.
USC starter Charlie Hurley picked up the win after throwing six innings of two-run ball. Matt Keating got the final six outs for his second save of the year.
UCLA has no Tuesday game due to the finals, and will return to action next weekend with a three-game series against Harvard starting on Friday night at 6:00 p.m.