UCLA took a beating on Tuesday night.
In the top of fifth, Long Beach State junior left fielder Ino Patron hit a three-run shot off the team’s new video board in right-center field to take an 11-run lead.
By that time, there was little UCLA could do to stop the bleeding, as coach John Savage had been tossed earlier in the game.
While walking back to the dugout following a pitching change in the Dirtbags’ 6-run third inning, Savage was thrown out of the game for arguing balls and strikes.
The result was the No. 9 Bruins’ worst defeat of the year, an 11-1 loss to the visiting Dirtbags.
“We really don’t let umpires get under our skin and tonight I did,” Savage said.
“I apologized to the team for acting that way, but at the same time you’re just competing and it does happen. We’ll move on.”
UCLA (25-12) fell behind right away as freshman pitcher Cody Poteet allowed a walk to the opening batter followed by an RBI double to the wall in right field. Long Beach (18-20) added another run on an RBI groundout to take a 2-0 advantage after the top of the first.
Poteet’s erratic start continued into the third inning.
Following an error, the freshman threw a wild pitch and issued consecutive walks to load the bases.
Redshirt freshman reliever Jake Ehret replaced Poteet, but fared no better. He allowed a bases-clearing, 3-run double to left field and the Dirtbags added three more runs off of Ehret on a walk, single and double to take an 8-0 lead. Savage was tossed after making a pitching change to relieve Ehret.
“It just kind of started out wrong and there’s not much to analyze. The whole game we just weren’t very successful in any facet,” said junior designated hitter Kevin Williams.
“We’ve just to take what we can … and move on.”
Coming off of a series victory over Oregon, UCLA’s offense could muster little on Tuesday night.
The Dirtbags doubled the Bruins’ hit total for the night, and UCLA had just two runners reach third base.
The Bruins scored their first and only run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth.
Sophomore third baseman Kevin Kramer scored from third on a fly out to right, jarring the ball loose from the catcher while sliding into home plate.
While the loss was disheartening for the team, Kramer said it was most important for the team to understand how to take it and move on.
“They just outplayed us tonight. It’s just the way it goes sometimes in baseball. Like Coach said, if you play this long then it’s going to happen. … It just all went wrong,” Kramer said.
“It’s about how we respond.”