UCLA Cruises Past Southeastern Louisiana, 16-2
AUBURN, Ala. – The No. 2-seed UCLA baseball team totaled 19 hits in a 16-2 victory against No. 4-seed Southeastern Louisiana in an elimination game on Saturday afternoon at Auburn's Plainsman Park.
The victory pushed the Bruins (39-23) to a Sunday afternoon matchup against No. 3-seed Florida State. Auburn defeated Florida State, 21-7, on Saturday evening. The winner of the UCLA-Florida State contest on Sunday (11 a.m. PT, 1 p.m. CT) will face top-seeded Auburn that evening (at 4 p.m. PT, 6 p.m. CT). In order to win the NCAA Regional, the Bruins will need to win both games on Sunday and another matchup against Auburn on Monday.
Five UCLA pitchers combined to limit Southeastern Louisiana (30-31) to two runs and three hits over nine innings.
In addition, UCLA's 16 runs were the program's most in an NCAA Tournament game since a 17-7 triumph over Oklahoma on Jun. 5, 2004.
"It's an elimination game, so you have to come out firing," said UCLA head coach John Savage. "We did a good job of swinging the bats. I thought we put a lot of good at-bats together, we hit some balls hard. I thought we were patient when we needed to be patient, and we were aggressive when we needed to be aggressive."
The Bruins scored in six of nine innings and reached base in each of the first eight frames. In all, four UCLA players finished Saturday's game with at least three hits.
Darius Perry totaled a season-high four hits, going 4-for-4 with two RBI and one walk. Carson Yates went 3-for-6 with a two-run home run, three runs and two RBI. Cody Schrier finished 3-for-7 with two doubles, three RBI and one run, and Ethan Gourson went 3-for-5 with one home run, one double, three runs and two RBI.
Left-hander Ethan Flanagan limited Southeastern Louisiana to one run and two hits through four innings as UCLA's starting pitcher. Flanagan did not record a decision and totaled four strikeouts and three walks.
Left-hander Jake Saum (4-0) pitched a scoreless fifth inning in relief of Flanagan and secured the victory. Saum entered the game with UCLA ahead, 7-1, and two runners on base with no outs. He helped the Bruins escape the inning unscathed, inducing a foul pop out and a double-play line-out to shortstop.
Southeastern Louisiana right-hander Andrew Landry (3-6) was charged with the loss, surrendering seven runs (six earned) off six hits and two walks through 2.2 innings.
UCLA secured a 7-1 lead through the first three innings, scoring three runs in the top of the first and four more runs in the top of the third.
The Bruins' three-run first inning included a pair of towering doubles off Auburn's 30-foot-high left field fence. Schrier opened the game with a double off the wall, and he scored three at-bats later on Ethan Gourson's double to left field. With runners at second and third base, Kyle Karros reached safely on an infield ground ball that pitcher Andrew Landry threw past SLU's first baseman. The throwing error allowed baserunners Michael Curialle and Gourson to score.
Southeastern Louisiana got on the board with one run in the second inning, taking advantage of a Bruins' throwing error, one hit-by-pitch and a bases loaded walk to bring home Pierce Leavengood.
Three of UCLA's four runs in the second inning were scored with two outs. In the top of the second, the Bruins tallied three single, had two hit batters and drew one walk. With UCLA ahead, 4-1, Perry sent a two-run, two-out single up the middle to score Yates and Oyama. Schrier's ensuing single to left field scored Oyama from second base.
UCLA added a pair of runs in the top of the fifth, extending the Bruins' lead to 9-1. Oyama opened the frame with a walk and Perry followed with his third hit in as many at-bats. Jake Palmer drove home both baserunners with a sharp one-out single through the left side of the infield.
The Bruins pushed their margin to 16-1 with three runs in the sixth inning, three more in the seventh and one in the eighth inning. In the top of the sixth, Yates belted his second home run in as many days. With Daylen Reyes aboard first base, Yates hit a 2-and-1 offering over the 30-foot-high fence in left field to put UCLA ahead, 11-1.
T6 | See you later!
Carson Yates clears the high wall in left for his second HR in as many days, and the lead is into double digits.
UCLA 11, SLU 1
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Gourson opened the top of the eighth inning with a solo home run to right field, his fourth round-tripper of the season, to give UCLA a 16-1 cushion.