The UCLA Baseball team dropped the opening game of its three-game set with rivals USC on Thursday night, falling to the Trojans, 10-0, at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Wyatt Strahan (4-3) earned the win for USC, pitching eight shutout innings while giving up five hits and striking out seven. Sophomore James Kaprielian (5-4) took the loss for the Bruins, pitching 6.2 innings and allowing five runs on 10 hits. He also struck out four.
USC took the early advantage with four runs in the top of the first. With one out, Garrett Stubbs and Jeremey Martinez reached on a walk and a hit by pitch respectively. A wild pitch moved the runners up before Jake Hernandez scored Stubbs with a single to right, giving the Trojans a 1-0 lead. Kaprielian struck out Dante Flores on the next at-bat, but Timmy Robinson then stepped in and hit a three-run home run to left to make it 4-0 USC. UCLA looked to answer in the bottom half of the inning by loading the bases with two outs, but Strahan struck out Christoph Bono to end the threat and keep the Trojans ahead.
Kaprielian settled down from there, keeping the Trojans scoreless for the next four innings. In the bottom of the fifth, UCLA threatened to score by putting senior Aaron Weimer and freshman Brett Stephens on first and second with nobody out. A sacrifice bunt by sophomore Ty Moore moved the runners up, but a strikeout and a groundout back to the pitcher ended the inning. After Kaprielian tossed a scoreless sixth, UCLA threatened again as freshman Luke Persico reached third with one out. Strahan worked out of it though, getting back-to-back groundouts from senior Pat Gallagher and sophomore Trent Chatterton to end the inning.
USC then added to its lead in the top of the seventh off of Kaprielian. With two outs and Hernandez on second, Flores chopped a single up the middle, bringing home Hernandez to give the Trojans a five-run lead. USC then tacked on five more runs in the top of the ninth to bring the score to 10-0. With runners on second and third, Hernandez singled through the left side off of freshman Scott Burke to score Kevin Swick and make it 6-0 Trojans. Two batters later, Martinez came in to score on a wild pitch to bring USC’s lead to seven. After a walk by Burke loaded the bases with two outs, freshman Chase Radan came in and surrendered a bases clearing double to Vahn Bozoian, giving the Trojans a 10-0 lead. The Bruins were unable to score in the bottom half of the inning and USC claimed the 10-0 win.
Persico led the Bruins with a 2-3 night while Moore, senior Kevin Williams and Weimer provided hits of their own.
UCLA (22-17, 9-7 Pac-12) and USC (22-17, 10-9 Pac-12) will continue their series tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The game will be nationally televised live again by the Pac-12 Networks.
Game Notes: The loss tonight snapped UCLA’s nine-game winning streak over the Trojans…freshman Chase Radan made his collegiate debut in tonight’s game, pitching 0.1 innings…Luke Persico logged his 10th multi-hit game of the year tonight and is now hitting a team-high .333 in conference play…James Kaprielian has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts and nine of his 11 starts overall on the season…Shane Zeile threw out his Pac-12 leading 15th attempted base stealer of the season tonight, throwing out Jeremy Martinez in the seventh.