The UCLA baseball team is the top-ranked squad in the nation for the sixth consecutive week, but the Bruins have some fierce competition on the rise in the Pac-12 Conference.
The UCLA baseball team took another series from a Pac-12 opponent over the weekend as the Bruins beat Cal in two out of three games. The result of the weekend kept them atop the D1 Baseball standings where the Bruins have held the spot for six consecutive weeks.
UCLA started their weekend series a little earlier than usual as their first game was played last Thursday at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Cal had jumped out to a 7-5 lead by the end of the 5th, putting pressure on the Bruins to score late in the game. UCLA was able to pull ahead, but not without the help of the Golden Bears who had a few errors that allowed UCLA to score.
The Bruins tied the game when Ryan Kreidler was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, allowing Matt McLain to get the tying run. An inning later, again with the bases loaded, Garrett Mitchell was walked, forcing in the run and giving the Bruins the walk-off victory.
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On Friday, the Golden Bears struck back as they got the 4-1 win. Ryan Garcia had a tough outing as he allowed six hits and one run in six innings. The UCLA pitching crew had allowed ten collective hits in this game. Not their best outing but things changed on Saturday.
UCLA bounced back as they had a 13-hit performance in a dominating 6-1 win. Chase Strumpf was the heavy hitter in this contest as he had two hits, two runs and two RBIs in this one. The win gave the Bruins a 30-7 record on the season.
Though UCLA is still on top, they are being closed in by two other Pac-12 superpowers. With Oregon State (28-8-1) at #2 and Stanford (27-6) at #3, the Pac-12 controls the top three positions in the country. UCLA has already taken on both teams with the Bruins winning both series, 2-1. Stanford is 8-1 since their series with UCLA and recently swept Oregon.
Oregon State has come on strong since their series against UCLA and is 14-6 since taking in the Bruins. The Beavers might be dropping in next week’s standings as they lost to Nevada 8-7 in 12 innings on Monday.
UCLA also has to be aware of the rising Arizona State Sun Devils (30-8) who were ranked 15th in the latest polls. The Bruins take on ASU in a week and a half in Tempe.