The No. 21 UCLA Baseball team dropped the series finale to Long Beach State on Sunday afternoon, falling to the Dirtbags by a score of 8-5 at Blair Field in Long Beach, Calif.
Ryan Rosetta (1-0) earned the win for Long Beach State with four scoreless innings in relief. Sophomore Cody Poteet took the loss for the Bruins to drop to 2-2 on the year, pitching an inning and allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits. Logan Lombana picked up the save with three shutout innings in relief while Ryan Strufing started the game for Long Beach State, lasting just 1.2 innings and allowing five runs on four hits.
Long Beach State took the early lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. After Garrett Hampson hit a single with one out, Ino Patron stepped in and hit a double to the left-center gap, scoring Hampson to make it 1-0 Dirtbags. The next batter was Richard Prigatano, who hit a single to right-center to bring home Patron and give Long Beach State a two-run lead.
The lead would be short-lived though as UCLA took back the lead in the top of the second with five runs. Sophomore Ty Moore led the inning off with a double to right to bring up freshman Luke Persico. Some controversy then ensued as Persico smacked what looked to be a two-run home run. However, the umpires convened and ruled the ball was a double, sending Persico to second and Moore to third. Moore would come around to score though on the next at-bat as freshman Dominic Miroglio hit a sacrifice fly to bring him home, cutting the Long Beach lead to one.
After a single by junior Chris Keck, sophomore Trent Chatterton came to the plate and laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score Persico, tying the game at 2-2. The next batter was senior Pat Gallagher, who blooped a single to right-center to score Keck and give the Bruins a one-run lead. The scoring wouldn’t stop there though, as a walk to senior Brian Carroll loaded the bases before sophomore Christoph Bono drew a hit by pitch, bringing in Chatterton and making it 4-2 UCLA. Two batters later, Moore came up for the second time in the inning and drew a bases loaded walk to score another run and chase Strufing from the game.
In the bottom half of the inning, Long Beach State came back with four runs of its own to take a 6-5 lead. The Dirtbags led off the inning with three straight singles from Eric Hutting, Zack Domingues and Colton Vaughn, the last of which scored Hutting to make it 5-3 Bruins. After a bunt single by Johnny Bekakis chased Poteet from the game and loaded the bases with nobody out, freshman Scott Burke entered for the Bruins and got the first two batters he faced, striking out Hampson and getting Patron to foul out to third. However, he gave up a two-run single to Prigatano on the next at-bat, allowing the Dirtbags to tie the game at 5-5. Then with runners on first and third, Michael Hill came to the plate and reached on an error by Burke on a comebacker, bringing in Bekakis and giving the Dirtbags the lead.
In the bottom of the third, Long Beach State tacked on another run as Hutting tripled to lead off the inning before coming home on a single by Vaughn, making it 7-5 Dirtbags. The Dirtbags also added a run in the bottom of the fourth, as Alex Bishop scored Prigatano from third with a RBI groundout off of freshman Nick Kern to increase the Long Beach lead to three.
The scoring slowed down from there as both sides were held scoreless for the next two innings. Then in the top of the seventh, UCLA threatened by getting the first two batters on base in the form of junior Shane Zeile and Moore. The Bruins would fail to cut into Long Beach State’s lead though, as back-to-back strikeouts and a groundout ended the inning. The Bruins went down in order in the final two innings and they went on to lose to Long Beach State, 8-5.
Moore led the Bruins at the plate, reaching base in four of his five plate appearances. Moore went 2-3 with two doubles, a run and a RBI. Chatterton and Gallagher added a run and a RBI as well.
UCLA (18-12) will continue its road trip next week beginning with a Tuesday tilt at Cal State Fullerton (16-11) at 6 p.m. down at Goodwin Field in Fullerton, Calif.
Game Notes: UCLA has now had at least one batter get hit by a pitch in 10 straight games and has had a total of 52 batters get hit by a pitch on the season…Pat Gallagher stole the first base of his collegiate career in the fourth inning…UCLA’s streak of 17 straight wins away from home was snapped with today’s loss…with his two scoreless innings today, Max Schuh has now not allowed an earned run in his last 11 appearances (9 IP)…the two schools combined to score nine runs on nine hits in the second inning today…David Berg made his Pac-12 leading 24th appearance with his scoreless inning in relief today.