UCLA Baseball: Bruins stay alive in extra innings, force Game 3 vs. Michigan

The UCLA baseball team staved off elimination (at least for one more game) as they took down Michigan in 12 innings by a score of 5-4. The winner of Sunday’s game goes to the College World Series.

The UCLA baseball team is not making this postseason easy on anyone. After avoiding an upset through the regionals last week, the Bruins came into this weekend’s Super Regional showdown against Michigan with a more focused approach. At least that is what we thought.

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Unfortunately, UCLA did not seem to wake up until the middle of Saturday’s contest before finally getting the much-needed win to stay alive for one more game in the NCAA Baseball Tournament. After the Bruins had dropped the best-of-seven series opener on Friday night by a score of 3-2, things were looking up on Saturday.

It took the Bruins five hours and 12 innings to get the victory in this one and did they ever trickle out the runs. UCLA struck first when Michael Toglia grounded out in the first inning, which pushed Garrett Mitchell from third base to home, but Michigan came right back in the bottom of the frame as Jordan Brewer grounded out which allowed Jordan Nwogu to score. It got even worse in the second as Joe Donovan blasted a two-run homer to take the 3-1 lead.

The Bruins struck next, but it wasn’t for a few innings. In the sixth, Jack Stronach sent one into left field, allowing Toglia to score. Toglia flexed his muscle two innings later when he homered to tie the game at three.

In the next inning, Chase Strumpf reached first on a fielding error, which gave Ryan Kreidler the chance to score and gave the lead back to UCLA in the top of the ninth, 4-3.

But it was not over yet. In the bottom of the inning, Michigan’s Jack Blomgren doubled into center which brought home Jimmy Kerr to tie the game and force extra innings.

Both teams were blanked in the 10th and 11th innings, but UCLA came up big in the top of the 12th when Kevin Kendell doubled to center to bring in Jake Moberg and give the Bruins the game-winning run. After walking Blomgren, UCLA got three straight outs to solidify the win. It wasn’t pretty, but it counts.

UCLA and Michigan do battle one last time tonight at 6 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium.