Nick Kern gave the Bruins hope in the bottom of the ninth.
With two outs and a runner on third, he sent a 3-2 pitch to deep into the outfield, far over the head of the Beavers’ left fielder. The shot had just enough power to carry over the wall, tying the teams at 2 apiece.
But while the redshirt senior pinch hitter’s two-run blast kept the game alive for another six outs, it was not enough for UCLA (17-17, 9-7 Pac-12) to overcome No. 1 Oregon State (31-2, 15-1). The Bruins fell 4-2 after 10 innings in the first game of their conference series against the Beavers.
The Friday night pitcher’s duel left both teams struggling offensively.
Junior Griffin Canning had only allowed two runs and six hits through seven innings and recorded 10 strikeouts. The right-hander ran into trouble in the fourth after allowing a single, a walk and another single to give the Beavers their first run of the night.
He faced a similar situation in the following inning, when a single with two runners increased the lead to 2-0.
Sophomore Brian Gadsby, freshman Nick Scheidler and redshirt sophomore Matt Walker got the Bruins through the ninth without allowing a hit, but it was junior Jake Bird who surrendered the lead 10th inning. After walking two of his first three batters, he gave up an RBI double, followed by a single, which put the Beavers up 4-2.
Meanwhile, OSU’s hurlers shut down UCLA throughout the evening.
The Beavers’ ace Luke Heimlich did not allow a hit until the seventh inning, when freshman second baseman Jack Stronach broke the silence with a single to the right side. Fellow freshman shortstop Ryan Kreidler followed with a single of his own, but the Bruins were unable to send either runner home.
UCLA batters would not reach base again until freshman right fielder Michael Toglia’s two-out triple in the ninth set Kern up to tie the game.
The late inning homer did not send the Bruins on their way to a win, as they were taken down in order in the 10th once the Beavers regained the lead.
Game 2 of UCLA’s series against OSU will take place 6 p.m. Saturday at Jackie Robinson Stadium.