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Baseball sees 7-3 loss to Arizona, tying first Pac-12 series of season

Freshman third baseman Kyle Karros went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a walk in No. 11 UCLA baseball’s defeat to Arizona on Saturday. (Esther Ma/Daily Bruin)


No. 11 UCLA3

By Olivia Simons

March 21, 2021 10:34 a.m.

Three pairs of back-to-back extra-base hits by the Wildcats led to the Bruins’ defeat in a nearly four-hour long contest.

No. 11 UCLA baseball (11-6, 1-1 Pac 12) fell to Arizona (13-5, 1-1) on Saturday 7-3 at Jackie Robinson Stadium, evening the series at one game apiece. The Wildcats scored six of their seven runs on consecutive extra-base hits, including a pair of back-to-back home runs.

Arizona began its scoring with its first couple of consecutive solo home runs by leadoff batter designated hitter Jacob Berry and second baseman Kobe Kato in the top of the second. Berry and Kato followed their solo shots with back-to-back doubles in the fourth frame, bringing the score to 3-0.

Junior right-hander Jesse Bergin toed the rubber for the Bruins for 5.1 innings, allowing the Wildcats’ first three runs. His first inning of work saw him walk two batters, and his second included the pair of solo shots. After the round trippers, Bergin retired the next three batters to end the inning, and only allowed the back-to-back doubles plus a single in his last 3.1 innings of work.

UCLA cycled through six relief pitchers, and including Bergin, the Bruins’ pitching staff threw only 56% of their pitches for strikes and walked five Arizona hitters.

“We didn’t throw enough strikes, I think that’s pretty obvious,” said coach John Savage. “You got to give (Arizona) credit. They did a good job of putting themselves in some good counts and we just didn’t execute enough pitches.”

The Bruins got on the board in the sixth inning, when sophomore right fielder Michael Curialle hit an RBI groundout and scored redshirt sophomore first baseman JT Schwartz.

Freshman third baseman Kyle Karros started off the seventh for UCLA by reaching first on an error. A single and a sacrifice bunt sent Karros to third, and junior shortstop Matt McLain’s single to center brought the third baseman home.

Schwartz later lined a single to center field, scoring redshirt junior center fielder Kevin Kendall and tying the score at 3-3.

The knock was Schwartz’s 10th run batted in in 24 at-bats this season, the third-highest RBI mark for any Bruin.

“I like having guys on base and knowing that I can do the job, and knowing that if it’s not me, it’s the guys behind me,” Schwartz said. “I don’t really feel that much pressure in those situations because of the guys behind me and I know that our lineup can do the job.”

In the following frame, Arizona catcher Daniel Susac slapped a grounder to the left side that popped in and out of Karros’ glove for a base hit. The two-out, bases-loaded single gave the Wildcats a lead they would not forfeit for the remainder of the afternoon.

Arizona scored its last runs in the ninth on back-to-back long balls from right fielder Ryan Holgate – whose shot also scored a runner on second – and shortstop Jacob Blas, giving the Wildcats a 7-3 advantage over the Bruins.

UCLA was not without opportunity to take the lead in the game. The Bruins recorded nine hits and walked four times but left 13 runners on base, and none of their three doubles resulted in runs.

A ninth-inning rally saw two runners on with one out for the blue and gold, but a fly out and strikeout handed the Wildcats a victory and tied the series.

“We would have liked to win the series today,” Karros said. “But we’re not going to think about that one too much. We’re going to come out (Sunday) and look to get our first Pac-12 series win under our belt.”

First pitch for the rubber match will be at 1 p.m. and will feature junior right-hander Nick Nastrini.

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Olivia Simons | Managing editor
Simons is the 2022-2023 managing editor. She was previously an assistant Sports editor on the baseball, women's tennis, men's tennis, swim and dive and rowing beats and a reporter on the baseball and women's tennis beats.
Simons is the 2022-2023 managing editor. She was previously an assistant Sports editor on the baseball, women's tennis, men's tennis, swim and dive and rowing beats and a reporter on the baseball and women's tennis beats.
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