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Clayton Walks Off 4-3 Win As Huskies Sweep No. 8 UCLA

May 8, 2022

SEATTLE - On one hand, the Huskies were playing with house money having already won this weekend's series against No. 8 UCLA after taking yesterday's double-header. On the other hand, they still had work to do to qualify for the Pac-12 Tournament. So there was definite cause for concern when the Huskies found themselves down 2-0 just four pitches into the game. There was plenty of bark left in these Dawgs though, as pitching settled in giving up just one more run through the rest of the game. Plus, the offense kept things close with runs in the fifth and sixth to set up a great come-from-behind scenario in the bottom of the ninth. Michael Snyder made a statement with a double to lead things off. Later in the ninth, a two-out McKay Barney single tied things up. Then a Cam Clayton single sent another run across the plate, closing the book on a 4-3 Husky victory and a sweep of the Bruins.

Stefan Raeth got the start on the mound, but struggled early giving up back-to-back home runs.  That was followed by a hit batter and a meeting on the mound. The first out was finally delivered as the batter watched a 1-2 fastball sail by. Raeth followed that with a ground ball to Josh Urps at second for the 4-6-3 double play.

McKay Barney led off the inning with a hard double down the left field line. Cam Clayton stepped in next, but fouled out to the first baseman. Next up, Johnny Tincher went down freezing on a breaking ball. Will Simpson followed with a ground out to short to end the inning.

The second brought a much more Raeth-like outing as the first batter went down swinging on four pitches. Batter number two went down swinging on a breaking ball in the dirt - Tincher fired down to first to make it official. The next batter did send a drive to deep left that just got over Colby Wallace's glove for a double, but the next batter swung over the top of strike three for Raeth's third strikeout of the inning.

AJ Guerrero started the inning grounding out to third base. Michael Snyder singled up the middle in the following at bat. Next up, Coby Morales went down swinging and Colby Wallace grounded out to second. Heading to the third, the Bruins remained on top 2-0.

A line drive to Clayton at short put out number one on the board. A high pop fly to Wallace toward the right field line brought the second out of the inning. The inning's third batter connected for a base hit to center. Raeth got out of the inning however, with a swinging strikeout once again.

A pop out to the shortstop in shallow left by Urps started the inning. Back at the top of the order, Barney got things started with a hard base hit through the right side for his second hit in as many at bats. Next up, Clayton went down swinging through a fastball for out number two. With Tincher at the plate, a ball in the dirt had Barney taking off for second but the catcher was able to get a handle on it and fire down to second for out number three.

In the fourth, UCLA led off with a grounder to the right side, but Urps was able to range over to make the play and fire to first for the out. The next batter put a charge into one to straight-away center field, but Barney tracked it back toward the warning track to make the catch.  Batter number three went down looking at a 1-2 pitch for the third out.

Eyeing a full count, Johnny Tincher got things started with a solid line drive to left field. Simpson followed with a hard grounder toward the middle, but short was able to field it to kick off a double play. The out at second was recorded, but the next throw got by the first baseman. Simpson took off for second base, but a great backup by the catcher had the ball quickly out to second for the out on Simpson. With two down, Guerrero saw three balls, then fouled three off before finally walking. Snyder stepped in next, but flew out to second for out number three.

Righty Josh Emanuels replaced Raeth on the mound to start the fifth and got things started with a ground out to Clayton at short. After just one batter, lefty Stu Flesland III took over for Emanuels. He delivered a can of corn to Guerrero in left for out number two and a pop out to Simpson at first to send the Dawgs back to the dugout.

Colby Morales led off the inning tatering one to left center beyond the diving center fielder for a stand up double. Wallace stepped in next and advanced the runner with a grounder to first.  With one out, Urps dug in and drove one deep to left center for a ground rule double. Morales scored on the play to make it a 2-1 ballgame. Barney followed with solid contact, but flew out to center. Following a pitching change, Clayton grounded out to his counterpart at short.

The sixth began with a walk on five pitches. A shot to right field got past Wallace for a double.  With two runners in scoring position and no outs, the Huskies went to their bullpen once again bringing in RHP Ryan Velazquez. His first batter walked on four pitches to load the bases. It was a different story for the next batter who went down looking after just three pitches. With one out, a fly ball to Wallace in right brought out number two, but a run scored and left UCLA with runners on the corners. Next, Velazquez got out of the inning with another fly ball to right field.

With the score 3-1 in favor of UCLA, Tincher stepped to the plate. He drove one to right center, but the center fielder was able to track it down for the first out. Next up, Will Simpson wasted no time jumping on the first pitch and driving it over the fence in left center to make it a 3-2 ballgame. With a full count, Guerrero sent a grounder perfectly between the first and second basemen for a base hit. Snyder followed with a line drive past a diving second baseman to put two runners on with Morales coming to the plate. With a 2-2 count, he swung through the next pitch for out number two. Colby Wallace stepped in next, but went down swinging as well to retire the side.

Preston Viltz replaced Wallace in right field and a fly ball his way started off the inning in a good way for the Dawgs. Velazquez continued by delivering a pop out to Guerrero in left. The inning's third batter sent one Snyder's way at third. He scooped the second hop and fired over to first for out number three.  Headed to the bottom half, the score remained 3-2 UCLA.

Urps led off and delivered a grounder toward the middle, but a slight shift had the shortstop perfectly positioned to make the first out.  Barney stepped in next and sent a chopper over second that the shortstop was, once again, able to field for an out. With two down, Clayton drove one hard to center that drew some interest from the crowd, but the center fielder was able to track it down for a catch on the edge of the warning track.

A hard Bruin shot toward second had Urps making a wicked pick then firing to first for the out. Back-to-back hit batters followed putting two on for UCLA and triggered a discussion on the mound. Velazquez remained in and his next pitch brought a pop out in foul territory to third baseman Michael Snyder.  With two down, Pitching Coach Elliott Cribby made his way to the mound and called for RHP Case Matter.  Four straight balls loaded the bases. A full count to the next batter had fans on the edge of their seats, but the batter swung through the next pitch to end the Bruin threat.

Tincher led off the inning with a ball to second for out number one. Simpson stepped in next, but went down on strikes. With two down, Guerrero fouled a few off but went down swinging as well. 

Matter continued on the mound in the ninth and delivered a lazy fly ball to Simpson at first for out number one. The next batter went down swinging at the fourth pitch he saw and batter number three flew out to Viltz in right.

Down by a run, the Huskies had work to do. Michael Snyder got the rally started ripping a shot down the left field line for a double. Morales just missed, popping out to second for the first out. Ben Smith replaced Snyder on second base. Then Christian Dicochea pinch hit for Viltz and drew a walk. With two aboard, Urps went down on strikes for the second out.  All eyes were on Barney as he stepped in with two outs, down one in the ninth. He worked a 1-1 count before sending a line drive to right center.  Smith came around to score from second and the game was all tied up at threes. With runners on the corners, Dalton Chandler came in to pinch run for Dicochea at third base. Barney then advanced to second negating any chance for a force out there. Cam Clayton dug in next.  He looked at a ball and a strike, then laced a frozen rope into center. The fielder charged to his right and dove, but was well short as the ball got by. Racing in from third, Chandler threw up his arm as he crossed the plate for the winning run. He then flew straight out past first base to join his team as they mobbed Clayton on the basepath. The Dawgs had come back to win 5-4 and completed the sweep of eighth-ranked UCLA.

Case Matter took the win moving to 1-2. He went 1 1/3 giving up no runs or hits with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts. Starter Stefan Raeth settled in after giving up just those two early runs. He pitched 4 innings giving up just 4 hits with no walks and 6 strikeouts.

The Huskies have a day off, then welcome Seattle U back to Husky Ballpark on Tuesday at 6:05 PM.