UCLA continued its dominant pitching at the USA Baseball-Irish Classic on Sunday, as sophomore Cody Poteet pitched a complete game two-hit shutout to lead the Bruins to a 5-0 win over Michigan at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, N.C.
Poteet earned his first win of the season by striking out a career-high 13 batters while walking none. Evan Hill took the loss for the Wolverines to drop to 0-1 on the year, pitching 5.1 innings and giving up five runs (four earned) on 10 hits.
As has been the case all weekend, UCLA gave its starting pitcher some early run support, scoring two runs in the top of the second. Freshman Luke Persico and sophomore Christoph Bono led off with back-to-back singles and were eventually moved up to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Dominic Miroglio. Sophomore Justin Hazard then brought the runners home with a two-run double to left-center to give Poteet a two-run cushion.
The Bruins added to their lead in the top of the third starting when senior Brian Carroll doubled to lead off the inning. After he moved to third on a groundout, junior Shane Zeile stepped in and hit a single to right, scoring Carroll and making it 3-0 in favor of UCLA. Zeile then made it 4-0 in the top of the fifth with another RBI single to right to score junior Chris Keck as the Bruins continued to add support for Poteet.
Keck pitched in with a RBI of his own in the top of the sixth, as he brought home Miroglio from third with an infield single to first, increasing UCLA’s lead to five. That would be more than enough for Poteet, who continually held the Michigan offense in check. He allowed only one base runner through his first eight innings and at one point retired 21 consecutive batters in the game as he cruised along and led the Bruins to the five-run victory.
Zeile led the UCLA offense at the plate, going 2-4 with two RBI to bring his season RBI total to seven. Persico followed that up with a 2-5 effort that included a run scored while Bono, Miroglio and Carroll each had a run and a hit apiece.
UCLA (7-4) will return home this Tuesday as they play host to the Loyola Marymount Lions (2-7) at 6 p.m. out at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Game Notes: Cody Poteet’s 13 strikeouts were the most by a UCLA pitcher since Trevor Bauer struck out 14 Fresno State batters on June 4, 2011...Poteet also threw the first complete game shutout by a UCLA pitcher since Nick Vander Tuig shut out Washington on March 16 of last year…Poteet struck out at least one batter in every inning in today’s game…his previous career-high in innings pitched was six…in three games this weekend, UCLA’s starting pitchers combined to throw 25 shutout innings, allowing just six hits and three walks while striking out 27…UCLA’s pitchers as a group have now allowed only one run in their last 31.2 innings pitched…Brian Carroll extended his streak of reaching base to seven straight games…with Chris Keck’s hit by pitch, UCLA has now had a batter get hit by a pitch in each of the first 11 games, bringing the Bruins’ season total to 20 batters hit by a pitch…the Bruins are now 47-2 in the last two seasons when holding the opposing team to three runs or fewer…UCLA was the only team in the USA Baseball-Irish Classic to win all of its games.