UCLA baseball avoids Pac-12 tournament elimination with victory over California
Freshman shortstop Ethan Gourson loads up to swing at a pitch at the plate. Gourson gave No. 3 seed UCLA baseball the lead in the top of the 10th with its win over No. 6 seed California in the Pac-12 tournament on Friday. (Olivia Simons/Daily Bruin senior staff)
|No. 3 seed UCLA||9|
|No. 6 seed California||7|
By Jay Fenn
May 27, 2022 11:29 p.m.
The Bruins got revenge on the Golden Bears to stave off elimination.
No. 3 seed UCLA baseball (37-21, 19-11 Pac-12) defeated No. 6 seed California (29-27, 14-16) on Friday night in Scottsdale, Arizona by a score of 9-7 to stay alive in the Pac-12 tournament. The win comes two days after the Bruins fell to the Golden Bears in the opening round of the tournament.
The Bruins threatened early, loading the bases in the top of the opening frame. Sophomore third baseman Kyle Karros – who was 8-8 through the first two games of the tournament – stepped up to the plate with one out but grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Cal started the scoring in the bottom half of the first inning when second baseman Hance Smith launched a two-run home run to left. Although UCLA got on the board in the top of the second via an RBI groundout, Cal answered back with a run of its own to maintain the two-run advantage.
UCLA tacked on another run in the third to make it 3-2. One inning later, the blue and gold took its first lead of the game thanks to a sacrifice fly from junior right fielder Michael Curialle and a two-run triple from freshman shortstop Ethan Gourson.
The Bruins watched their lead slip away in the bottom of the fourth, making two errors on a pair of potential inning-ending double plays. Junior left-hander Jake Saum took matters into his own hands, striking out the final two batters of the frame to leave the bases loaded.
Senior left-hander Daniel Colwell took over for Saum in the fifth and delivered his longest outing of the season, throwing 3.1 perfect innings.
After failing to get on the board for three innings, UCLA tied the game in the eighth inning. Graduate student first baseman Jake Palmer drove in sophomore left fielder JonJon Vaughns with a double, and Curialle followed that up with a bloop single to score the graduate transfer and tie the game at seven.
UCLA took the lead in the top of the 10th inning on an RBI single by Gourson, then Karros followed up the freshman with an RBI single ripped down the line.
Freshman right-hander Luke Jewett closed out the contest for the Bruins, going three innings while allowing two hits and no runs to earn the win.