The UCLA Baseball team dropped its second consecutive road game on Tuesday night, falling to No. 18 Cal State Fullerton by a score of 4-3 at Goodwin Field in Fullerton, Calif.
Miles Chambers (2-0) earned the win for the Titans with 2.1 innings in relief while freshman Grant Dyer (4-3) took the loss for the Bruins. Dyer tossed five innings, allowing four runs on five hits while striking out four. J.D. Davis picked up his fourth save of the season for Cal State Fullerton.
The Bruins threatened the in the top of the second, loading the bases with two outs on singles by junior Chris Keck and freshman Brett Stephens and a walk by sophomore Trent Chatterton. Senior Brian Carroll then came to bat and on a 2-0 count hit a hard chopper that went right to Matt Chapman at third. Chapman stepped on the bag at third for the third out and the inning was ended.
UCLA would find two runs in the top of the third though to take a 2-0 lead. With Chad Hockin on the mound, sophomore Christoph Bono led off the inning with a single before junior Shane Zeile got hit by a pitch. Sophomore Ty Moore moved the runners up to second and third with a sacrifice bunt and Fullerton brought in Koby Gauna. Two batters later with two outs, sophomore Justin Hazard stepped in and smacked a single up the middle to score both runners and make it 2-0 Bruins.
The Titans got one back in the bottom of the third as with two outs, Tanner Pinkston singled through the left side to score Keegan Dale from second, cutting UCLA’s lead to one. After another single put runners on first and second with one out, Dyer did a great job to recover and keep the Bruins ahead, striking out Davis on a 3-2 pitch to keep the game at 2-1, UCLA.
Cal State Fullerton would take back the lead in the bottom of the fifth though with three runs off of Dyer. After putting runners on first and second with one out, Matt Chapman came to bat and hit a triple to the right-center gap, bringing home the runners to make the score 3-2 in Fullerton’s favor. Chapman then came around to score on a RBI groundout by Davis on the next at-bat to give the Titans an insurance run.
After a scoreless sixth, the Bruins cut into the Fullerton lead with a run of their own in the seventh. With one out, Moore singled to center before moving up to third on two wild pitches. Freshman Luke Persico then hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Moore and make it 4-3 Titans. However, that would be all the runs UCLA would get for the rest of the game and the Bruins went on to lose to Cal State Fullerton, 4-3.
Bono and Zeile led UCLA at the plate with two hits and a run apiece. Hazard added two RBI of his own while Keck and Stephens each went 2-4 on the night.
The Bruins (18-13, 6-3 Pac-12) will return to conference play this weekend as they travel to Tucson to face Arizona (14-19, 4-8 Pac-12) in a three-game series from Friday, April 11 to Sunday, April 13. Game times are 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively and all three games will be televised live. Friday and Sunday’s games will be shown on the Pac-12 Networks while ESPNU will broadcast Saturday’s game.
Game Notes: UCLA has now had at least one batter get hit by a pitch in 11 straight games and has had a total of 54 batters get hit by a pitch on the season, the most in the Pac-12…Max Schuh has not allowed an earned run in his last 12 appearances (9.1 IP)…Cody Poteet made his first relief appearance since May 26, 2013 with his inning in relief tonight…UCLA added two sacrifice bunts tonight to bring its season total to 47, tying Washington for the Pac-12 lead…Shane Zeile has now reached base safely in 14 of his last 15 games and logged his team-leading 12th multi-hit game of the year with his two hit game tonight…the Bruins lost for just the second time all year when out-hitting the opponent.