After returning from their east coast road trip in North Carolina, the 13th-ranked UCLA Baseball team dropped a 6-1 decision to Loyola Marymount on Tuesday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Patrick McGrath earned the win for the Lions to improve to 1-0, pitching seven innings and allowing one run while striking out three. Freshman Grant Dyer took the loss for the Bruins after allowing two runs on four hits in 4.1 innings pitched.
The first few innings went without much offense, but the Bruins had a chance to go on top in the bottom of the third. Sophomore Trent Chatterton led off with a double and two batters later senior Brian Carroll singled and moved to second on the throw, putting runners at second and third with one out. However, freshman Brett Stephens popped out to short and junior Shane Zeile grounded out to end the inning.
Loyola Marymount then took the lead in the top of the fourth, starting when David Fletcher and Tanner Donnels led off the frame with back-to-back singles off of Dyer. Then with runners on first and third, Tommy Cheek brought home Fletcher with a RBI groundout to third, giving the Lions a 1-0 lead.
The Lions made it 2-0 in the top of the fifth, as Ted Boeke led off with a hit by pitch. After he moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and then to third on a single by Austin Miller, he came around to score on another single by Fletcher, chasing Dyer from the game and making it 2-0 Lions. Freshman Scott Burke came in after that and after giving up a walk to load the bases, he got a huge 6-4-3 double play with help from a nice play at short from Chatterton to end the threat.
Loyola Marymount opened up its lead in the top of the seventh, scoring two runs to give themselves a four-run advantage. With runners on first and second and one out, Fletcher stepped up again and hit a single to left-center to score Ted Boeke. The next batter was Donnels who laid down a bunt to the third base side. Junior Chris Keck picked up the ball and threw it to first, but Austin Miller broke from third and beat the throw home to bring LMU’s lead to 4-0.
The Bruins did get a run back in the bottom of the seventh after freshman Luke Persico scored on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Justin Hazard, but the Lions brought the lead back to four in the top of the eighth as David Edwards scored on another squeeze bunt by Boeke. The Lions then added one more on a RBI single by Miller to make it 6-1 before holding the Bruins scoreless in the final two frames to earn the win.
Overall, Carroll led the Bruins at the plate, going 3-4 with three singles. Persico added a double and a run for UCLA as well.
UCLA (7-5) will host Waseda University in an exhibition game tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium before playing a trio of opponents this weekend. The Bruins will take on Pepperdine (9-3) on Friday at 6 p.m. and Houston (8-2) at 2 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium before traveling across town to play rivals USC (8-3) on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Game Notes: David Berg made his 110th collegiate appearance tonight, which is one shy of second-most all-time in school history...Brian Carroll has now reached base in eight consecutive games while Shane Zeile has now reached base safely in six straight games…Carroll also recorded his 15th career multi-hit game with his 3-4 performance tonight…Luke Persico has scored at least one run in three consecutive games…Justin Hazard made his first career start at first base tonight.