Bruins Top Harvard, Savage Collects 600th Win at UCLA
LOS ANGELES – Behind a historic offensive performance, the UCLA baseball team recorded a 25-2 win over Harvard on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The victory delivered career win No. 600 for head coach John Savage at UCLA.
The Bruins (11-6) posted 10 runs in the bottom of the first to take a big lead, scored another two runs in the second, and then broke the game open with an eight-spot in the third that made it 20-0.
UCLA received sizable offensive contributions up and down the lineup, none bigger than the collective effort from the underclassman trio of freshman shortstop Cody Schrier, freshman second baseman Ethan Gourson, and sophomore right fielder JonJon Vaughns, which combined to go 8-9 with two home runs, 13 RBIs, and 10 runs scored.
Schrier (4-4, HR, four runs, four RBIs) set career-highs across the board and reached base in all six of his plate appearances. Gourson (2-3, five RBIs, three runs) led the team in runs batted in, and had the two biggest hits of the game-opening 10-spot. Vaughns (2-2, HR, three runs, four RBIs) clubbed his first home run of the year, collected four walks, and reached in all six plate appearances. It was the fourth time this season that Vaughns drew at least three walks.
Other key offensive contributors included junior DH Josh Hahn (2-6, HR, three RBIs) and graduate left fielder Kenny Oyama (two walks, three runs scored).
UCLA was plenty patient as a team on Friday, earning a season-high 14 free passes. A further six Bruins were hit by a pitch on the night.
The Bruins' offensive production was historic on a number of notes. The team's 25 runs were the most ever in a game at Jackie Robinson Stadium (UCLA's home venue since 1981) and the most overall since scoring 28 at Arizona on Mar. 22, 1986. UCLA's 10-run first inning was its first frame with double digit scoring since Mar. 25, 2007 vs. Pacific (school-record 14).
On the pitching side, sophomore Jake Brooks turned in five innings of one-run ball to pick up the win. Redshirt sophomore Kelly Austin and senior lefty Daniel Colwell combined to limit Harvard (7-6) to one run the rest of the way. The Crimson totaled nine hits in the contest, only one of which went for extra bases.
The Bruins sent 16 batters to the plate as part of that 10-run first inning, with Gourson collecting the two biggest hits of the rally. With two on and nobody out his first time up, Gourson snuck a grounder through the left side to plate Schrier and open the game's scoring.
UCLA would bring in five more runs without a hit before the next time Gourson came up – that stretch included four walks, two HBPs, and an error – but Gourson would go on to break the game open with a bases-loaded double into the left-center gap that cleared the bags and made it 9-0. The next batter, Hahn, slapped a base hit to left field to plate Gourson and cap the 10-spot.
Schrier brought in two more runs the next inning for the Bruins, attacking the first pitch he saw and sending it over the wall in left-center for his team-high fourth home run of the year.
UCLA put together another big inning in the third. Key sequences during the frame included a two-run single up the middle from Schrier and an RBI double to right-center from Vaughns.
Vaughns and Hahn added home runs in the middle innings to pad the lead for UCLA. It was the first home run of the year for both.
Savage becomes the third coach in program history to reach 600 victories at UCLA. He needs just 12 further victories to reach 700 overall in his esteemed career.
UCLA and Harvard continue the series on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. The contest will be streamed live on UCLABruins.com.