March 26, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 6 UCLA baseball team dropped a 10-4 decision against Washington State in the final game of a Pac-12 series Monday afternoon at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
UCLA (17-5, 4-2 Pac-12) won the conference series with 12-3 victories on Friday and Saturday, before rain prompted Sunday's contest to be postponed until Monday. The Bruins lost for just the second time in their last 17 games.
Washington State (11-10, 2-4) scored four runs in the first inning and added five in the second inning to claim a 9-0 cushion. Ahead 1-0, the Cougars received a three-run, two-out homer in the first from Ty Jackson to lead, 4-0.
Adam Nelubowich capped Washington State's five-run second inning with a two-run, two-out home run to right field, pushing the Cougars cushion to nine runs. Nelubowich went 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs, and Taylor Ard went 3-for-5 with one run and one RBI.
Kyle Swannack (2-2) earned the victory, allowing three runs and six hits in five innings. Scott Simon registered his second save of the year, allowing one run and two hits in four innings of relief.
UCLA's Grant Watson (5-1) absorbed his first career loss, surrendering nine runs and eight hits in 1.2 innings.
Eric Jaffe pitched four scoreless innings in relief for the Bruins, scattering two hits in his third career appearance. Jaffe recorded two strikeouts and issued one walk in four-plus innings.
Tyler Heineman was UCLA's only batter to record more than one hit, going 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run. Beau Amaral and Trevor Brown each went 1-for-4, extending their hitting streaks to eight games.
UCLA scored two runs in the bottom of the third, cutting Washington State's lead to 9-2. Kevin Williams lined a run-scoring triple to the right field corner before Tyler Heineman sent an RBI-single into center field, scoring Williams.
Brown led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a solo home run to left field.
Washington State scored one run on Ard's two-out double to left field in the top of the eighth inning, extending its margin to 10-3.
The Bruins added one run in the bottom of the eighth on when Brown grounded into a double play with the bases loaded, sending home Heineman from third base.
UCLA returns to action at Utah on Friday, March 30. Game time of the Pac-12 series opener at Mobile Spring Ballpark in Salt Lake City is 6 p.m. MT/5 p.m. PT.
Game Notes: Eric Jaffe made 47 pitches through four-plus innings, as he induced six groundouts (five to the shortstop) ... Beau Amaral finished the three-game series against Washington State batting .571 (8-for-14) with seven runs and four RBI ... Amaral was named Pac-12 Player of the Week earlier in the day ... Tyler Heineman went 7-for-11 (.636) with five RBI and five runs in the series, logging a .692 on-base percentage ... Jeff Gelalich has reached base safely in all 22 games for UCLA this spring ... absorbing his first career loss, Grant Watson is just the second pitcher in school history to have secured a victory in each of his first five decisions as a freshman (previously accomplished by Kevin Brophy in 2004).