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Tracking COVID-19 at UCLACampus Safety

UCLA baseball to play series against Washington in lone matchup of 2021 season

Redshirt senior outfielder Kyle Cuellar has only played in No. 10 UCLA baseball’s first and most recent series, as he was sidelined for over a month with an abdominal injury. (Jefferson Alade/Daily Bruin)

Baseball


Washington
Thursday, 6 p.m.

Jackie Robinson Stadium
Pac-12 Networks
Team
Friday, 2 p.m.

Jackie Robinson Stadium
Pac-12 Networks
Team
Saturday, 12 p.m.

Jackie Robinson Stadium
Pac-12 Networks

By Olivia Simons

April 1, 2021 4:40 p.m.

Following the cancellation of their midweek contest, the Bruins will take on the Huskies for their only games against each other this year.

No. 10 UCLA baseball (15-7, 4-2 Pac 12) will host Washington (8-13, 0-6) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Jackie Robinson Stadium. This series is the only time the Bruins and the Huskies will see each other this season, and they have played just one three-game series against each other every year since 2015 other than 2020.

UCLA was slated to play Pepperdine on Tuesday, but the contest was cancelled because of COVID-19 protocols within the Waves’ program.

“It’s obviously a bummer that we weren’t able to play,” said senior right-hander Michael Townsend. “It just kind of reminded us a little bit of last season where we got cut short. It’s a good reminder for all of us to continue to stay safe, stay healthy and keep on top of wearing our masks and being smart around other people.”

UCLA last played Washington in May 2019 at home, where it swept the series. The Bruins are 54-25 all-time against the Huskies, including winning six of the last seven series at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Washington is currently on a seven-game losing streak, which started when it dropped all three games of its series against USC, a team the Bruins took two of three games from in their series last weekend. The Huskies also have yet to win a game away from home.

“(Washington has) played a good schedule, played a lot of good people,” said coach John Savage. “They’re battle-tested and they’re a Pac-12 opponent, so there’s a lot of respect for them and what we have to do. We have to take care of business each day and we know it’s going to be a hard-fought series, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play this weekend.”

Taking the mound for the Bruins on Thursday is senior right-hander Zach Pettway, who is making his fifth start of the season. The right-hander continues to stretch out in his starts, beginning with two innings against Pepperdine, four at Cal Poly, five against Arizona and seven at USC.

In his first two starts, Pettway allowed a total of five runs. He only gave up one run in his outings against Arizona and USC combined, however, giving him a 2.84 ERA.

Following Pettway is junior right-hander Jesse Bergin, who will toe the rubber for the Bruins in the middle game of the set. Bergin holds a 2.97 ERA with 10 walks and 29 strikeouts over six starts, the most of any Bruin.

Sophomore right-hander Jared Karros will make his fourth start of the season in the Saturday matinee, his second after taking over the Sunday rotation spot from junior right-hander Nick Nastrini.

Redshirt senior outfielder Kyle Cuellar returned to the lineup for the Bruins in their series against the Trojans after being out for over a month with a lower abdominal injury. In his two games last weekend, Cuellar recorded one run, two hits – including a double – and one RBI.

“Any time you’re out injured, it’s sort of disappointing,” Cuellar said. “I was out for four or five weeks so that was a bummer (when I was) just sitting in the sidelines not being able to play. This past weekend it was a lot of fun to just get back out there and just to contribute to the weekend series win.”

First pitch is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

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