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UCLA baseball ends Pac-12 tournament run with walk-off loss to Oregon State

Members of No. 3 seed UCLA baseball talk on the mound in a game May 15. The Bruins were eliminated from the Pac-12 tournament Saturday night after losing to No. 2 seed Oregon State in walk-off fashion. (Jason Zhu/Daily Bruin staff)

Baseball


No. 3 seed UCLA7
No. 2 seed Oregon State8

By Jared Tay

May 29, 2022 12:31 a.m.

This post was updated May 30 at 11:36 p.m.

There was trouble brewing in the bottom of the ninth. 

Redshirt sophomore right-hander Kelly Austin was into his second inning of work, having clung onto a one-run lead his previous inning. 

The leadoff batter for the Beavers reached on an infield single. Two hitters later, a flare shot into the outfield put runners at second and third base. 

When the next Beaver batter popped a ball up over the infield, a pair of Bruins converged only to see it fall between their gloves and thud into the infield dirt.

The dropped popup allowed No. 2 seed Oregon State (44-14, 20-10 Pac-12) to tie the contest at 7-7 in an elimination game Saturday night against No. 3 seed UCLA baseball (38-22, 19-11) at the Pac-12 tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona. Oregon State would go on to rip a single down the left field line, scoring the winning run to give the Beavers an 8-7 walk-off win over the Bruins.

Coach John Savage said the tournament was a difficult but rewarding challenge. 

“We left it on the field,” Savage said. “It was a really good opportunity to test our will and our togetherness, and I think we proved a lot. We’re probably battle-tested now.”

Despite carrying a one-run lead into the final innings, UCLA was behind Oregon State through the first six frames. 

Trailing the Beavers by three runs in the top half of the seventh inning, sophomore second baseman Daylen Reyes sparked the offense with a leadoff single. A triple from junior right fielder Michael Curialle plated Reyes, and the Bruins continued to pass the torch.

A sacrifice fly from sophomore third baseman Kyle Karros scored another run. Sophomore center fielder Carson Yates’ RBI single kept the pressure building.

With two runners on and the score now tied at six apiece, freshman designated hitter Jack Holman stepped into the box in his ninth appearance of the season. He ripped another single up the middle of the diamond to score the go-ahead run. 

Savage said the offensive performance was strong, especially in an unfamiliar ballpark.

“It was just a ton of good offense, really, throughout the whole weekend,” Savage said. “Every ballpark plays so different that we’re not used to a park playing like that. But you never know what you’re going into in a regional, either.”

The one-run lead was preserved through the eighth inning by Austin, who faced traffic but escaped with no damage to his scoreline. He took the ball from senior right-hander Jake Moberg, who pitched one frame of scoreless ball in his first collegiate appearance on the mound.

Reyes said the appearance of pitchers who did not throw much during the season was impressive.

“There was a lot of guys that hadn’t pitched or hadn’t got a lot of innings that year that came up and were competing,” Reyes said. “They weren’t soft, they didn’t roll over, they weren’t timid.”

Freshman right-hander Luke Jewett had the longest outing of any Bruin on Saturday night, throwing four innings and striking out four through the middle frames.

Reyes led UCLA on offense, tallying three hits in five at bats and scoring twice. Junior catcher Darius Perry also crossed the plate twice and contributed his own 2-for-4 performance. 

UCLA will await its placement in the NCAA baseball tournament, with the bracket and seeding to be announced Monday.

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Jared Tay | Sports senior staff
Tay is currently a Sports senior staff writer on the men's basketball beat. He was previously an assistant Sports editor for the baseball, men's soccer, men's tennis, cross country and women's tennis beats. Tay was previously a contributor on the men's tennis beat.
Tay is currently a Sports senior staff writer on the men's basketball beat. He was previously an assistant Sports editor for the baseball, men's soccer, men's tennis, cross country and women's tennis beats. Tay was previously a contributor on the men's tennis beat.
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