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UCLA Finishes Off Oregon Sweep With 5-4 Sunday Win

Apr 3, 2022
Jake Saum (photo: Scott Chandler)

LOS ANGELES – Sophomore third baseman Kyle Karros hit a go-ahead home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to power UCLA to a 5-4 victory over No. 20 Oregon on Sunday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

The result finished off a series sweep for the Bruins (19-8, 6-3 Pac-12), who have now won a season-high five games. The Ducks dropped to 18-10, 7-5 with the loss.

Just like the first two games of the series, UCLA's win came by a one-run margin and in comeback fashion. Oregon plated a single run in each of the first four innings of the contest, but the Bruins battled back to tie it up on an RBI double from Malakhi Knight in the sixth before Karros closed out the scoring an inning later with his go-ahead blast.

Karros (2-4, two RBIs) and Knight (2-5, two RBIs) were two of the three UCLA batters with multiple hits on Sunday, joining freshman shortstop Cody Schrier (2-3, two walks, two runs).

Junior catcher Darius Perry added a solo home run in the third – his first collegiate roundtripper – that temporarily brought the Bruins within a run. He also threw out a pair of would-be basestealers.

On the mound, lefties Jake Saum and Gage Jump led a strong collective effort from the bullpen, which was called into action after UCLA starter Thatcher Hurd departed the game in the first inning with an injury.

Saum tossed four innings of shutout relief, allowing just one hit and striking out four. No Duck advanced past second base with Saum on the mound. His best work came in the seventh, as he struck out the side. He became the pitcher of record after Karros's homer, moving to 3-0 on the year.

Jump followed and closed it out by facing the minimum over the last two innings of the game. He allowed just one baserunner – a one-out walk in the ninth – but induced a game-ending double play ball from the very next batter. He picked up his second save of the week and of his career.

Though the Bruins fell behind early – Oregon held leads of 3-1 and 4-2 during the first half of the game – they continued to scratch and claw on offense all day, getting an extra eight runners on base via walk or hit by pitch.

UCLA's first run of the day came on the heels of a walk and a HBP, as Karros top-spun a liner into left field to plate Schrier from second base and tie it at 1-1.

The Bruins' game-tying rally in the sixth came mostly with two outs. Graduate left fielder Kenny Oyama got aboard first on a drag bunt single, which was followed shortly after by an opposite-field base hit from Schrier. Both came around moments later when Knight hooked a line drive inside the foul line and into the left field corner for a double.

Karros's home run was his first of the year after missing 23 games with an injury. He led the team in batting this week at .400 (6-15) in his first action since Feb. 19.

UCLA closes out a five-game homestand on Tuesday by hosting Loyola Marymount at 6:00 p.m. in a non-conference battle at Jackie Robinson Stadium.