No. 9 UCLA Baseball Falls to Washington State, 4-3

April 28, 2013

Box Score | UCLA Baseball on Facebook

Pullman, Wash. - The ninth-ranked UCLA Baseball team dropped the series finale to Washington State on Sunday afternoon, falling to the Cougars by a score of 4-3 in a game that featured three ties and four lead changes.

Junior right-hander Zack Weiss took the loss for the Bruins, despite facing just one batter in the eighth inning. J.D. Leckenby earned the win for Washington State after throwing three innings of scoreless relief while Jason Monda picked up the save. Sophomore Grant Watson started the game for the Bruins, tossing 4.1 innings and giving up two runs (one earned) on nine hits.

Washington State struck first, scoring a run in the first when Adam Nelubowich hit an infield single to shortstop that scored Trek Stemp. The Bruins fought back though, and grabbed the lead in the top of the second with a two-run frame. Senior Cody Regis led off the inning with a double, and two batters later came home when junior Pat Gallagher singled to Stemp at second base. Stemp still attempted to throw Gallagher out, but his throw went wild and allowed Regis to score and Gallagher to move to second. After another error by Stemp allowed freshman Christoph Bono to reach and Gallagher to move to third, junior Brenton Allen stepped to the plate and singled to left, scoring Gallagher to make it 2-1 Bruins.

The Cougars then found the equalizer in the bottom of the third, as Brett Jacobs scored P.J. Jones from third with another infield single to short, leveling the game at 2-2. After a scoreless fourth, the Bruins went back ahead by a run in the fifth thanks to the base running of junior Brian Carroll. Carroll walked to lead off the inning, and then stole second, advancing to third on a throwing error by Jones. He then came home a couple of pitches later when a wild pitch by Washington State starter Scott Simon allowed him to score, giving UCLA a 3-2 lead.

Washington State threatened again in the bottom half of the inning, getting two infield singles before Watson induced a fly out to put runners on first and third with one out. Freshman Cody Poteet then came in to relieve Watson, and came up big with back-to-back strikeouts to end the Cougars' threat. Poteet held the Cougars scoreless in the sixth, but Washington State again tied it up in the seventh when Jacobs singled in Austin Pernell off of freshman James Kaprielian to even the game at 3-3.

The Bruins had a good chance to take the lead back in the top of the eighth, getting the first two runners on (Valaika and Regis) via a single and an error. After a fly ball to center moved Valaika to third, UCLA attempted a squeeze play with Gallagher at the plate. Gallagher got the bunt down, but pitcher J.D. Leckenby fielded it and threw Valaika out at home. Bono lined out to short in the next at-bat to end the inning.

The Cougars then took the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth, as Shea Donlin scored the winning run on an infield single by Collin Slaybaugh with help from a throwing error by Gallagher. Slaybaugh beat sophomore David Berg to the bag on a grounder to first, while Gallagher's throw hit the bag and skipped away allowing Donlin to come around. The Bruins could not muster anything in the ninth and went on to lose the game, 4-3.

Overall, Valaika and Regis led the Bruins at the plate, going 2-4 each with Regis scoring a run. Carroll recorded a hit and a run scored in the ballgame while Bono, Gallagher and Allen each added a hit apiece.

UCLA (27-13, 11-7 Pac-12) will open up an eight-game homestand starting this Tuesday against UC Irvine (28-12) at 6 p.m. out at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Bruins will then host the Utah Utes (16-23, 5-16 Pac-12) from Friday, May 3 to Sunday, May 5.

Game Notes: Pat Valaika recorded two assists in the game, extending his streak of consecutive games without an error to 30...Valaika also now has a team-leading 11 two-hit games this season and has reached base safely in 12 consecutive games...David Berg extended his scoreless streak to 21.2 straight innings and lowered his season ERA to a Pac-12 best 0.75...with his 2-4 game, Cody Regis raised his average to a team-high .327 in Pac-12 games (min. 30 at-bats)...Cody Poteet struck out four of the six batters he faced in his 1.2 innings of work today...the Bruins are now 10-1 in one-run ballgames.

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