The Bruins lead the Pac-12 in runs, but were shut out Thursday night in a complete game from the opposing pitcher.
No. 7 UCLA baseball (30-11, 14-5 Pac-12) has averaged 7.3 runs this season and came into an away game against unranked Arizona (26-17, 8-11) on an eight-game win streak. However, the Bruins lost 2-0 behind a complete game shutout from Arizona pitcher Cody Deason.
Deason posted a career-high 11 strikeouts on 139 pitches against the Bruins. UCLA hadn’t been struck out 11 times by one pitcher since April 7, 2017. The right-hander came into the game with a 2.70 ERA, seventh-best in the conference.
Jake Bird pitched one of his best games of the season, but earned the loss. The senior pitched a complete game with 102 pitches thrown and seven hits allowed. He came into the game with a 1.83 ERA, good for third-best in the conference.
Bird gave up a homer in the fifth inning for the Wildcats’ third hit of the game. Arizona hit the second and only double of the game in the sixth frame to put a runner in scoring position and added a sacrifice run off a wild pitch from Bird.
The Bruins placed the go-ahead runs on base in the sixth frame down 1-0. Sophomore first baseman Michael Toglia – batting .340, slugging .623 and leading the team in RBIs– came up to bat with a runner in scoring position. Deason struck out Toglia for the third time of the night and retired the next hitter to end the inning.
UCLA put the tying run on base in the ninth inning, but Deason made quick work of the Bruins, putting out the next two batters to end the game and record the first complete game of his career.
UCLA earned five hits coming from just three players. Sophomore left fielder Jeremy Ydens and sophomore second baseman Chase Strumpf both hit 2-for-4, but eight out of nine batters in the lineup struck out at least once.
The Bruins were tied with Stanford for the lead in the Pac-12 rankings before tonight, but fell to second with the loss. Arizona is ranked seventh in the conference but has a 18-6 nonconference record and the No. 51 RPI – UCLA holds an RPI of 23 of No. 23.
UCLA will take on Arizona on Friday night at 7 p.m. with freshman Zach Pettway making the start. The Bruins will try to avoid losing their first conference series since March 31 against California.