The Bruins continued their winning ways at home with a combined one-hitter.
No. 1 UCLA baseball (44-8, 21-5 Pac-12) took the series over Washington (28-21, 12-14) with a 4-0 victory Saturday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Bruins have now secured series wins in every home set for the second consecutive season.
“I would like to say that we’re the same team everywhere, but there’s something about playing at home that’s just slightly more comfortable,” said junior first baseman Michael Toglia. “You know all the little crevices and cracks and how the field plays, so there’s definitely an advantage in that.”
Redshirt junior right-hander Jack Ralston improved his record to 10-0 as he threw six-plus scoreless innings of one-hit ball and notched nine strikeouts.
The right-hander struck out six of the first seven Huskies he faced one night after junior right-hander Ryan Garcia made his first 10 outs on strikeouts.
“Every time (Garcia) goes out there, it pumps me up for the next day,” Ralston said. “I always want to do just as well as him.”
Ralston and Garcia were among eight starting pitchers announced as 2019 Dick Howser Trophy Semifinalists on Wednesday. The award is given to college baseball’s top player, as voted on by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
The Bruins scored two of their four runs in the fifth, starting with an RBI triple by sophomore center fielder Garrett Mitchell – his third triple in two games. Mitchell came home to score on a sac-fly by junior shortstop Ryan Kreidler to give UCLA a 3-0 lead.
UCLA’s first run came in the second when Toglia came home on a groundout by junior left fielder Jack Stronach. In the sixth, Toglia hit his team-leading 12th home run of the season on a solo shot over the right-field wall to increase the Bruins’ lead to four.
The home run marked the only hit the Bruins recorded in their last 13 at-bats as Washington right-hander Jordan Jones pitched all eight innings for the Huskies. Coach John Savage said he was impressed with Jones’ off-speed pitches in his strong outing.
“I tip my hat to (Jones),” Savage said. “I was impressed with his ability to pitch his breaking ball and change. That’s a tough loss for him.”
Right-handers redshirt senior Nathan Hadley, junior Kyle Mora and sophomore Holden Powell each threw an inning of relief without allowing a baserunner. Powell struck out the side to pick up his 15th save of the year, ranking good for third in the nation.
The Bruins will have the chance pick up their sixth sweep of the year Sunday at 12 p.m.