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Bruins Drop Close Series Finale at Utah, 7-6

Apr 10, 2022
Cody Schrier

SALT LAKE CITY – No. 15 UCLA racked up 10 hits as a team but suffered a 7-6 loss to Utah in Sunday's series finale at Smith's Ballpark.

The Bruins (22-9, 8-4 Pac-12) narrowly missed out on a sweep of the Utes after picking up wins in the first two games of the set. UCLA has now played seven consecutive games decided by one run. The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Bruins.

Utah meanwhile improved to 18-13-1, 5-7.

Sunday's game was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams holding the lead multiple times over the course of the game.

Utah struck first with three runs in the bottom of the first, but UCLA answered right back to steal away the lead with a four-spot in the second. Later on, UCLA re-took the lead with a two-run sixth, but Utah put together a decisive three-spot just after the seventh inning stretch.

Side-armer Zac McCleve held the Bruins at bay over the final two innings of the contest, going 1-2-3 in the eighth and inducing a game-ending line-double play in the ninth.

UCLA was led offensively by freshman shortstop Cody Schrier (2-4, RBI), graduate first baseman Jake Palmer (2-4), and junior catcher Darius Perry (2-4, two RBIs), who each had multiple hits. Sophomore DH Daylen Reyes added a triple as part of a solid overall weekend.

The Bruins collected four singles as part of a go-ahead four-spot in the second. Six of the first seven batters reached base in that frame, with Darius Perry and Jake Palmer bringing home runs with RBI singles.

Reyes sparked another go-ahead rally for UCLA in the sixth, driving a 1-2 offering into the right field corner for a one-out triple. He would come in on another RBI knock from Perry, who would score himself when Schrier ripped a liner into the left-center field gap for an RBI double that made it 6-4 in UCLA's favor.

The Utes were led by the top three batters in the order, who combined to go 6-11 with five runs and five RBIs. Three-hitter Chase Anderson hit a two-run homer as part of the first-inning three-spot, and cleanup man TJ Clarkson tied it at 4-4 with a solo shot in the third.

Utah rallied for three runs on three hits – aided by a hit by pitch and two walks – in the seventh.

Freshman lefty Gage Jump made his first-collegiate start for the Bruins on Sunday, striking out four batters in 1 2/3 innings. Redshirt sophomore Kelly Austin finished the final four outs of the game for UCLA, retiring each batter he faced and striking out a pair.

UCLA returns to action on Tuesday afternoon, driving to Malibu, Calif. for a 3:00 p.m. matchup at Pepperdine. That game will be streamed live on the WCC Network.