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UCLA baseball concedes 1st shutout of season in home matchup against Harvard

Freshman shortstop Cody Schrier positions himself to catch a pop fly. Schrier nabbed his team-leading fourth home run of the season in UCLA baseball’s victory over Harvard on Friday. (Joseph Jimenez/Daily Bruin)

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By Joseph Crosby

March 20, 2022 11:05 a.m.

A day after scoring a season-high in runs, the Bruins were shut out at home.

UCLA baseball (11-7, 1-2 Pac-12) fell to Harvard (8-6) by a score of 5-0 on Saturday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium, recording one hit in the loss. The Bruins preceded their first shutout of the season by posting a 25-2 victory over the Crimson on Friday night.

Coach John Savage said games often come down to the starter, adding that he was impressed by the performance of Harvard left-hander Tim Williamson on Saturday.

“You’re only as good as your starting pitcher,” Savage said. “Last night (Friday), (Harvard) clearly had a rough start, and tonight (Saturday) they had a really good start. … We did a good job of extending at-bats and getting to the next guy last night (Friday), and tonight (Saturday) we clearly didn’t do that.”

The 25-run outburst Friday started with a 10-run first inning, followed by a two-run second and an eight-run third. Freshman second baseman Ethan Gourson collected four RBIs in the first frame, tallying a double and a single as the Bruins batted around.

Freshman shortstop Cody Schrier scored three times in the first two innings while collecting his team-leading fourth home run of the season in the second frame.

“I feel great,” Schrier said. “I’m seeing the ball better than I ever have. I’m not trying to hit home runs, so I think that just comes with seeing the ball well and getting my best swing off all the time.”

Schrier collected two more RBIs and scored for a fourth time in the third, eventually finishing the day with four hits and a pair of walks. Home runs by sophomore right fielder JonJon Vaughns and junior designated hitter Josh Hahn in the fifth and seventh innings, respectively, added on to the blue and gold’s total.

Sophomore right-hander Jake Brooks recorded the win, striking out eight batters over five innings of work and allowing one run.

“Brooks has been huge for us this year,” said freshman left-hander Ethan Flanagan. “He’ll continue to play a big role for our team.”

The second game of the series was the opposite of the first, with Harvard jumping out to an early lead in the first inning on a pair of lead-off doubles. Sophomore right-hander Max Rajcic retired the next three batters he faced, striking out a pair and limiting the Crimson to one run.

Rajcic worked around baserunners in both the second and third innings, stranding three batters and allowing one run across the two frames. Savage said preventing big innings is important to his team.

“We’ve done a pretty good job of that all year,” Savage said. “We take a lot of pride in minimizing the damage.”

Flanagan – who entered the game after Rajcic and allowed one run over 2.2 innings – added that the pitching staff emphasizes supporting each other.

“We take big pride in picking up each other,” Flanagan said. “Passing it from the starter to the bullpen to further relievers is a big part of it.”

Redshirt sophomore catcher Tommy Beres recorded the lone hit for the Bruins on Saturday, a two-out single to center. Beres was not the only baserunner of the day, with three walks and four hit batsmen causing traffic for UCLA throughout the game. However, none were able to reach home and score.

“Today (Saturday) we came out a little bit flat,” Schrier said. “We don’t want to be a team that runs off momentum, so we’ll come back tomorrow (Sunday) and hopefully take the series.”

UCLA returns to Jackie Robinson Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m. for the rubber match against Harvard.

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Joseph Crosby | Assistant Sports editor
Crosby is a 2022-2023 assistant Sports editor on the baseball, women's golf, men's water polo and women's water polo beats. He was previously a contributor on the baseball and women's golf beats. He is also a third-year statistics student.
Crosby is a 2022-2023 assistant Sports editor on the baseball, women's golf, men's water polo and women's water polo beats. He was previously a contributor on the baseball and women's golf beats. He is also a third-year statistics student.
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