The Bruins needed a confidence booster heading into the final stretch of the season Tuesday.
No. 18 UCLA baseball (32-17, 15-9 Pac-12) had lost six of its last seven games and fallen 11 spots in the rankings coming into the final midweek game of the season, but won 15-2 against unranked CSUN (25-27, 12-9 Big West).
UCLA averaged 3.1 runs per game in its past seven games before Tuesday, four less than its season average. The Bruins scored their most runs since April 21.
Sophomore Ryan Kreidler recorded a career-high 5 RBI in a game, knocking home the first 2 runs of the game on a single in the second frame. CSUN answered with a run in the third, but the third baseman drove home 2 more runs in the fourth to make it 4-1.
Sophomore second baseman Chase Strumpf hit a 2-run homer to left field in the sixth to make it 10-1. UCLA loaded the bases and sophomore left fielder Jeremy Ydens singled in 2 more runs. Ydens finished 3-for-5 with 4 RBI on the night.
Redshirt sophomore Jack Ralston started for UCLA for the seventh time this year, and it was his best outing yet. The right-hander threw career-highs with 5 1/3 innings pitched and seven strikeouts – besting his previous high of two – and allowed 2 runs on six hits.
The day didn’t start out well for the Bruins, however. UCLA had to finish a suspended game against CSUN from March 15 before the normal, scheduled game, picking up the action in the bottom of the eighth with UCLA up 3-2.
CSUN started at bat with two runners on and immediately drove home a run to tie the game, sending it to extra innings. Sophomore Kyle Mora took the mound for the Bruins, throwing 5 and 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts.
The right-hander took UCLA to the 13th inning, but CSUN blasted a solo homer to left center field for the walk-off victory. UCLA loaded the bases in the 10th and 11th, but failed to convert.
The Bruins lost the series Sunday against Washington in similar fashion, blowing a 1-run lead, leaving seven runners on base in extra innings, and losing on a walk-off home run.
UCLA will play the final home series of the regular season against Oregon beginning Friday at 4 p.m.