UCLA baseball records season-high 20 hits in victory over UC Santa Barbara
No. 13 UCLA baseball junior center fielder Michael Curialle swings at a pitch in a game Saturday. Curialle had his first multi-home run game of his career in UCLA’s win over UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday night. (Finn Chitwood/Daily Bruin)
|No. 13 UCLA||14|
|UC Santa Barbara||4|
By Jared Tay
April 20, 2022 3:51 p.m.
This post was last updated April 20 at 9:48 p.m.
A pair of two-run innings in the first and second frames was the impetus for the Bruin offense.
Then came the third.
In a frame that saw five runners cross the plate, No. 13 UCLA baseball (25-11, 9-6 Pac-12) defeated UC Santa Barbara (24-9, 13-3 Big West) by a score of 14-4 for its seventh consecutive midweek win in a matchup at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium on the Central Coast.
“Santa Barbara’s one of the hottest teams in the country,” said coach John Savage. “We take a lot of pride in our midweek games, and we want to set the tone for the weekend.”
All five of the blue and gold’s third-inning runs came with two outs. Junior center fielder Michael Curialle got the Bruins started with a double down the right field line, and a fielding error from UCSB’s right-hander JD Callahan kept the inning alive and allowed Curialle to score.
Redshirt sophomore catcher Tommy Beres was brought home on an RBI triple off the bat of freshman shortstop Cody Schrier for the second run of the inning, and a wild pitch from Callahan allowed Schrier to dash home from third for the third run.
The Bruin infield helped tack on more runs. Consecutive hits from graduate student first baseman Jake Palmer, freshman designated hitter Ethan Gourson – who normally plays at second for UCLA – and sophomore third baseman Kyle Karros swelled the Bruin lead to eight runs in the early going.
“It was a really good job of hitting,” Savage said. “I felt like balls were being hit from foul pole to foul pole. We hit with two strikes and we strung a lot of good at-bats together.”
The crooked number in the third inning came after UCLA’s offense posted a pair of two-run frames to begin the game. Curialle and Palmer provided the two runs in the second inning, courtesy of two solo home runs that flew over the outfield wall. Sophomore second baseman Daylen Reyes’ single into right field plated the evening’s first two runs.
Despite posting nine runs in the first third of the game, the Bruin offense wasn’t done racking up the score. The fourth inning saw two more runs come across, with one of those scores courtesy of Curialle’s second home run of the game and first multi-home run game of his career.
“He swung the bat really well,” Savage said. “He’s taking advantage of good counts, and he’s doing a really good job of getting pitches that he’s looking for. He’s had a good stretch of games, and he’s seeing the ball extremely well.”
In the seventh inning, it was the usual suspects who strung together hits for another multirun frame. Palmer started the frame with his first extra-base hit of the night, this time sending the ball flying into the outfield gap. He was brought home and replaced at second base by Gourson after the freshman logged his own double.
An extra-base hit from Karros scored Gourson, and the former was scored on a sacrifice fly from Reyes. For the first time in the 2022 season, the Bruins managed to string together 20 hits, breaking their previous season high of 16.
UCLA’s 10-run win on Tuesday marks its fourth-largest margin of victory this season, after the blue and gold secured a mercy-rule win over Oklahoma in seven innings by a score of 15-3 on March 5 and trounced Harvard by 23 runs on March 18.
On the mound against the Gauchos, redshirt sophomore right-hander Kelly Austin and junior left-hander Jake Saum got the Bruins through four innings while allowing two earned runs combined. Three subsequent UCLA relievers held UCSB hitless through the eighth inning, including freshman right-hander Alonzo Tredwell, who had not pitched since March 27 because of an injury.
“He (Tredwell) looked really sharp,” Savage said. “He looks completely healthy. He was a dominant reliever before he got hurt. This gives us another arm that we can rely on. At the end of the day, he’s back out there, and he’s healthy and threw the ball pain-free.”
Following the win, UCLA will remain on the road and travel to Berkeley for a weekend series with California from Friday to Sunday.