UCLA baseball sinks Saint Mary’s to claim shutout in first game of series
Junior right-hander Zach Pettway pitched 6.2 innings and earned the win for UCLA baseball in its first game against Saint Mary’s. Pettway fanned 13 batters and allowed just 3 hits in the 5-0 win. (Alice Naland/Daily Bruin staff)
|No. 14 UCLA||5|
By Marcus Veal
Feb. 22, 2020 10:25 a.m.
The Bruins needed just three runs to secure their fifth win of the season.
No. 14 UCLA Baseball (5-0) picked up its second shutout victory of the year against Saint Mary’s (2-3) in a 5-0 win Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium. In his second start of the season, junior right-hander Zach Pettway fanned 13 batters over 6.2 innings of work.
Pettway started just 10 games last season for the Bruins, but didn’t make an appearance after Apr. 18 because of injury. Coach John Savage said he was proud of the way Pettway set the tone early by getting ahead in the count Friday night.
“As you can see he’s completely healthy from last season, and his fastball and breaking ball have gotten much better,” Savage said. “It’s really fun to see a guy who’s worked so hard to come back, and it’s comforting to see a kid like him out there competing for you on a Friday night.”
In addition to the strikeouts, Pettway didn’t allow a walk and only conceded three hits on his way to his first win of the season.
The right-hander put away six of the first eight batters he faced and struck out the side in both the second and fourth innings. Pettway saw one Saint Mary’s baserunner reach third base in the fifth inning, but a strikeout and groundout kept his shutout in tact.
“Coach scouted them out really well, so it was trusting in what he called and trying to keep them off balance,” Pettway said. “I just had a lot of confidence in every pitch, and, as the game was going on, the relievers were hyping me up and that always fires me up to get the weekend started.”
On the offensive side, the Bruins piled on 11 hits from five different players.
Redshirt freshman first baseman JT Schwartz and senior left fielder Kyle Cuellar lead the way with three hits apiece and a combined three runs.
“Each of us really just trusted our approaches and its easy to be relaxed at the plate knowing you have guys behind you that can get the job done too,” Schwartz said. “I also think anytime your starting pitcher can dominate like (Pettway) did makes it easier for the defense and offense to get in rhythm.”
The Bruins knocked in the first run of the game in the third inning.
Sophomore third baseman Jake Moberg lead the inning off with a single and reached second base after a sacrifice bunt from redshirt junior right fielder Jordan Prendiz. Two batters later, with two strikes and two outs, freshman second baseman Michael Curialle doubled down the left field line, driving in his seventh RBI of the season.
In the next inning, Schwartz slapped a double down the right field line and then scored on a wild pitch. After redshirt junior designated hitter Jarron Silva was hit by a pitch and sophomore catcher Noah Cardenas singled to shortstop, Moberg singled to left-center, driving in Silva for the 3-0 lead.
UCLA got two more runs in the eighth.
Back to back singles from Schwartz and Cuellar put runners on first and third for the bottom half of the order. Silva’s groundout RBI and an RBI single from Cardenas rounded out the final runs the Bruins would score.
“Every year there’s always a foundation of good players,” Savage said. “We lost some significant offense from last year, so it looks a little different, but so far the guys have done a good job of buying in and being able to produce.”