The UCLA Baseball team was defeated by rivals USC on Friday night, falling to the Trojans by a score of 3-2 at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Brent Wheatley picked up the win for the Trojans to improve to 4-1 on the year. Wheatley threw six innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits while striking out four and walking three. Junior Grant Watson took the loss for the Bruins, falling to 4-6 on the year. Watson allowed three runs on six hits in seven innings pitched, striking out four as well. Kyle Davis earned the save for USC with 1.1 scoreless innings in relief.
Like the previous night, USC took the early lead on the Bruins in the top of the first. With one out, Watson hit Garrett Stubbs with a pitch before walking Jeremy Martinez, putting runners on first and second for Jake Hernandez. With the runners going, Hernandez singled through the left side to score Stubbs and give the Trojans a 1-0 lead. Watson did well to hold USC to one though, getting Timmy Robinson to fly out and Blake Lacey to ground out to end the inning.
UCLA took the lead back in the bottom of the second with a little help from the USC defense. After two singles by freshmen Luke Persico and Justin Hazard put runners on the corners with one out, sophomore Trent Chatterton drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases. Senior Aaron Weimer then stepped in and hit a grounder to Dante Flores at second. Flores tried to get the runner at second, but his throw went wide into left field, allowing Persico and Hazard to score to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
After a scoreless third inning, USC went back ahead with two runs in the fourth. Vahn Bozoian singled with two outs and then came around to score on a double by Reggie Southall on the next at-bat, tying the game at 2-2. The next batter was Kevin Swick, who scored Southall from second with a single to left to put the Trojans in front by one.
The next two innings went scoreless but UCLA had a chance at the tying run in the bottom of the sixth. Junior Shane Zeile led off with a single and made his way to third with two outs, but Wheatley was able to strike out Christoph Bono swinging to end the threat. UCLA looked to score again in the bottom of the eighth, getting runners on first and second with one out. However, a fielder’s choice from senior Kevin Wiliams and a strikeout from freshman Brett Stephens ended the inning with no runs for the Bruins. UCLA was unable to score in its half of the ninth and the Bruins went on to fall to the Trojans, 3-2.
Persico and Hazard led the Bruins at the plate with each logging a hit and a run while Weimer provided UCLA’s only RBI of the night. Jake Ehret, Max Schuh and Nick Kern combined to throw two innings of scoreless relief on the mound for the Bruins as well.
UCLA (22-18, 9-8 Pac-12) and USC (23-17, 11-9 Pac-12) will conclude their three-game set tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Sophomore Cody Poteet (3-2, 4.44 ERA) will take the mound for the Bruins.
Game Notes: Aaron Weimer logged his first career RBI with his fielder’s choice in the second inning…Grant Watson has now pitched at least six innings in eight of his 11 starts this season…Luke Persico extended his career-high hitting streak to eight games with his 1-3 night…Max Schuh extended his streak of not allowing an earned run to 19 straight appearances (14.1 IP)…Brian Carroll returned to the lineup tonight after missing the last five games due to injury…tonight’s game had an attendance of 1,319.