UCLA baseball has played 26 games.
Twelve of those games have been decided by one run.
Tuesday night, it was the same story, as the Bruins (13-13, 6-3 Pac-12) fell 5-4 to the San Diego State Aztecs (21-9, 8-3 Mountain West).
The Aztecs started the scoring in the bottom of the second inning, as senior Andrew Brown hit a two-out, two-run triple. The Bruins scored their first run of the game in the fourth inning on a solo homer to left field from junior Sean Bouchard.
A double from freshman Jack Stronach and an RBI groundout from freshman Ryan Kreidler helped erase the Aztecs’ 2-0 lead, putting the Bruins up 4-3 heading into the fifth.
The bats were still working for the Bruins – they collected seven hits against the Aztecs that were distributed among seven different players.
The fourth inning, however, was the only inning where UCLA was able to capitalize offensively.
Both the Bruins’ and the Aztecs’ bullpens were put to work in the fourth inning. Justin Hooper went 3 2/3 innings, struggling to make it past four innings of work. The sophomore lefty gave up three runs on five hits, three walks and recorded four strikeouts. His ERA now stands at 5.18 through 12 appearances and five starts, although he is also tied for second on the team with 30 strikeouts.
Once Hooper exited the game, Ryan Garcia threw 1 2/3 innings, his longest outing of the season. Savage again called to the bullpen after the freshman righty gave up a leadoff walk in the sixth – his second walk of the game. A sacrifice bunt placed a runner on second with one out.
Savage then put in freshman lefty Nick Scheidler and sophomore righty Brian Gadsby on the bump. Scheidler hit the only batter he faced, and then a double from SDSU’s Alan Trejo scored two runs in the bottom of the inning to give the Aztecs a 5-4 lead – the two runs were charged to Garcia and Scheidler.
The Bruins will return to Jackie Robinson Stadium and play a three-game home series against Washington (16-11, 4-2 Pac-12) this weekend. The Huskies have lost their last two games played.
Last season, UCLA lost two of three games in Seattle. Then-sophomore Griffin Canning threw a six-hit complete-game shutout Friday for the Bruins’ lone win, but then-junior Grant Dyer and then-freshman Kyle Molnar combined to give up nine earned runs in 8 1/3 innings.