After losing to LMU on Saturday, the no. 1 UCLA baseball team was on the verge of being bounced out of the Los Angeles Regional, but they gained some momentum on Sunday with two big wins.
The UCLA baseball team started their trip into the NCAA Baseball Tournament with a solid 5-2 win against Omaha on Friday night. Things were a bit different for the Bruins on Saturday.
UCLA would take on LMU, who won their first NCAA Baseball Tournament game in 19 years. That propelled them to their second on Saturday when they shocked the #1 team in the nation with a 3-2 win.
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Jack Ralston (11-1) was on the mound for the Bruins and did a commendable job allowing only six hits and striking out ten. Unfortunately, the three runs were enough to take the game against the Bruins, putting them in a pickle as they were now one game away from being completely eliminated. UCLA was behind the eight ball in most of that game as their seven hits could not morph into any more than two runs.
All of that changed on Sunday when the Bruins had to do double duty just to stay alive.
UCLA took on Baylor in the morning session and did not hold back. The game, unfortunately, started out slow as Jesse Bergin allowed three hits including a two-RBI homer in the second. Fortunately, the five Bruin pitchers that came on in relief only allowed three hits of their own and held the Bears to three extra runs.
Luckily, the Bruins’ batters came to play and used four home runs to fuel an 11-6 win. Jake Pries started things off in the first with a two-RBI blast to left field. In the fifth and sixth, Michael Toglia, Noah Cardenas, and Ryan Kreidler had homers of their own which helped build up to a total of 11 runs.
The Bruins then got some payback in the afternoon session as they once again took on LMU, but this time, the pitching did not have much of a struggle. Led by Nick Nastrini (1-0), the three Bruin pitchers only allowed five hits and one run while striking out a collective 12 batters.
On the offensive side, UCLA did not hold back as three homers by Toglia, Chase Strumpf, and Jeremy Ydens led to a 6-3 win. With this victory, the Bruins now move into one final game.
Tonight at 7 p.m., the Bruins once again take on LMU and winner takes all. With the regional being double-elimination, both the Bruins and Lions will look to avoid that second loss and extend their season into the Super Regional.