The UCLA baseball team is no. 1 for the eighth consecutive week which was topped off by Jack Ralston honored as the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week.
The UCLA baseball team did not come out of the weekend unscathed as they lost to Arizona State 7-8 on Sunday, but the loss could not undo the damage the Bruins caused in the first two games as they took the series from the Sun Devils, 2-1.
With the Bruins winning yet another conference series, UCLA remained at the top of the D1 Baseball Standings for the eighth consecutive week. Currently, the Bruins are 37-8 overall and 16-5 in the Pac-12 (which has them in third place after Stanford and Oregon State who top the conference at 17-4).
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UCLA started the weekend series on Friday in the desert as they pulled out the 3-2 victory. Ryan Garcia (6-0), who has been named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week three times this season, was able to get the win, but the Bruins ace had to dig deep. Through seven innings, he allowed six hits but also struck out six. UCLA was able to pull ahead for the 3-1 lead in the top of the eighth, but ASU struck back in the bottom frame, but they were only able to score one run, which led to the UCLA win.
On Saturday, the Bruins had another Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week performance as Jack Ralston (8-0) dominated on the mound. It was the 5th time this season a Bruin has taken home that honor behind Garcia’s three and one from Zach Pettiway, the most of any Pac-12 team.
Through seven innings, Ralston only allowed three hits while striking out seven. ASU was finally able to score, but it was in the bottom of the 8th after Ralston left the game. The Sun Devils scored three in that frame, but it was moot. The only saving grace was that ASU avoided a shut out as UCLA had already scored 18 runs by that point in the game, eventually getting the 18-3 win.
UCLA was not shy with their bats as they had a 22-hit performance which was backed by seven home runs as the Bruins were led by Mitchell Garrett and Chase Strumpf. Garrett had a four-hit, four-RBI performance which included a three-run homer in the 8th to give the Bruins their 18th score of the night. Strumpf was equally impressive with two hits and 4 RBIs which came on a 4th inning grand slam.
UCLA had a tougher time on Sunday as they could not keep up with the Sun Devils in an 8-7 loss. Though the Bruins came away defeated, the damage was already done. UCLA had outscored ASU 28-13 for the weekend, continuing their dominance on the Pac-12 front.
UCLA has their final midweek home game of the season today as they take on Long Beach State at Jackie Robinson Stadium. This weekend, the Bruins head to Washington State for their third to last conference series of the season.