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Bruins Take Back-and-Forth Midweek Over Waves, 9-7

Apr 12, 2022
Kelly Austin (C) tossed three scoreless innings on Tuesday (photo: Charlie Blake/Pepperdine Athletics)

MALIBU, Calif. – No. 12 UCLA rallied for six runs late to post a 9-7 victory over Pepperdine on Tuesday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium.

The Bruins (23-9) scored three runs apiece in both the eighth and ninth innings to wrest control back from the Waves (17-14), who had gone ahead with five runs in the middle innings.

The result clinched a milestone victory for head coach John Savage, who recorded the 700th win overall in his career. It was the latest in a series of milestones reached this year by Savage, who has also won his 600th game at UCLA and coached his 1000th game overall in 2022. 

The four-hour ten-minute game was full of drama, with five ties and four lead changes over the course of the contest.

In the final two innings alone, the Bruins went from being down 5-3 to being up 6-5, then saw the Waves re-take the lead heading into the ninth inning, only for UCLA to put together a decisive go-ahead rally in the ninth.  

UCLA banged out 15 hits as a team on Tuesday, including a 3-4 afternoon for junior left fielder Michael Curialle, who drive in the game-winning run in the top of ninth with a two-run home run. Cody Schrier (2-5), Kyle Karros (2-5), Daylen Reyes (2-5), and Carson Yates (2-5) all had multi-hit performances as well.

The Bruins used six pitchers in the game, with several logging notable performances on the bump.

Redshirt sophomore Kelly Austin started the game for UCLA, and ceded just a pair of singles over three scoreless innings.

Senior lefty Daniel Colwell inherited a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the sixth inning and limited the damage to one run to help keep UCLA in the game.

Continuing the back-and-forth theme of the game, Pepperdine went on to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but redshirt freshman Chris Aldrich left the bags full to earn his first-career save.

In addition, freshman righty Nate Leibold made his NCAA debut in the sixth, facing three batters.

UCLA got the scoring started with two runs in the top of the first, as Schrier and Ethan Gourson both came across after doubling to left field.

After being limited to just one run over the next six innings, UCLA's bats got to work immediately in the eighth. Reyes kicked off that rally with a solid single to center, and he was able to score all the way from first when Yates ripped a double into the left-center field gap. Following a walk to junior catcher Darius Perry, graduate first baseman Jake Palmer had the biggest hit of the rally, spinning a triple off the wall in left-center to plate a pair and give UCLA its first lead since the fourth inning.

Despite being down a run, the Bruins continued to rally their next time up with Kyle Karros ripping a single inside the third-base line to open up the frame. The Bruins cashed that run in with a Reyes RBI single to tie the game, and then Curialle back-spun an 0-2 offering over the wall in left to put UCLA up for good.

UCLA returns to Jackie Robinson Stadium this weekend, hosting Pac-12 rival Stanford in a three-game series starting on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. The first and last games of the set will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks, while Friday's 7:00 p.m. contest will appear on ESPN2 as part of the network's coverage of Jackie Robinson Day.