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Capitalizing on errors, UCLA baseball cruises to victory against Omaha

Sophomore shortstop Cody Schrier prepares to throw the ball. Schrier paced the blue and gold with four RBIs in its win over Omaha on Friday night. (Kaiya Pomeroy-Tso/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Baseball


Omaha1
No. 17 UCLA16

By Benjamin Royer

Feb. 18, 2023 12:03 p.m.

Whether the Bruins hit the ball on the ground or lifted it into the air Friday night, the Mavericks struggled to handle fielding situations cleanly.

Four errors in four innings boxed Omaha into a bases-loaded jam after sophomore second baseman Duce Gourson reached on an error by Mavericks’ third baseman Mike Boeve.

Sophomore shortstop Cody Schrier exploited Omaha’s (0-1) defensive shortcomings in the bottom of the fourth and hit a bases-clearing double that smacked off of the left fielder’s glove to provide No. 17 UCLA baseball (1-0) with a 3-0 lead. After a 10-run, eighth-inning rally broke open the game, the Bruins cruised to a 16-1 victory at home.

Schrier’s game-winning double was his only hit of the contest, but it separated UCLA from its opponents for the rest of the night. The Bruins’ leadoff hitter led the team with four RBIs.

“It’s huge to capitalize on that (errors),” Schrier said. ”Especially with the score being 0-0 at that point, we wanted to get something going. We really wanted to capitalize on that mistake.”

Omaha surrendered another two errors which allowed the Bruins to add on an extra run in the bottom of the fifth to extend the lead to 5-1. Senior catcher Darius Perry smacked an RBI single before an errant throw to third by the right fielder allowed a second run to cross the plate.

The Bruins’ backstop ended Friday 1-for-4 with three RBIs.

Junior third baseman Kyle Karros led the team with three hits, walked twice and earned two eighth inning RBIs. Coach John Savage said he was impressed with the Manhattan Beach native’s approach at the plate.

“He’s (Karros) gotten stronger, he’s gotten smarter, and he’s clearly hitting the ball,” Savage said. “He had a really good fall and a good winter. We know that he’s primed for a big year.”

Pitching-wise, the Bruins gave up just one run against the Mavericks, with Savage giving the ball to a familiar face to begin the game. Junior right-hander Jake Brooks – UCLA’s Friday starting pitcher during 2022 – took the ball for his second consecutive opening-day start.

The Fountain Valley native tossed five innings, surrendering six hits, one run and one walk while striking out eight en route to his first win of the season.

Brooks said he was not at his best, but relied on an offspeed pitch to help him through the outing.

“I was using all three pitches tonight, but my slider was not there and I was leaving my fastball up (in the zone),” Brooks said. “I relied heavily on the change-up tonight, which is something you have to do sometimes, and I’m really stoked because it helped me through some jams.”

UCLA’s bullpen relieved Brooks in the sixth inning and pitched to the tune of four scoreless frames to close out the contest.

Freshman right-handers Michael Barnett and Cody Delvecchio pitched the sixth and the seventh innings, respectively, and each struck out one batter in their collegiate debuts. Senior right-hander Charles Harrison twirled a scoreless eighth before junior right-hander Caedon Kottinger wrapped up the victory.

The bullpen quartet avoided walking a batter and struck out a combined six Mavericks.

“I didn’t see any nerves out of the bullpen,” Savage said. “We were putting up runs, and they were putting up zeroes. That’s obviously a pretty good combination.”

UCLA returns to Jackie Robinson Stadium on Saturday at 2 p.m. for the second game of three against Omaha.

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Benjamin Royer | Assistant Sports editor
Royer is the 2023-2024 Assistant Sports editor on the baseball, gymnastics and men's water polo beats and a reporter on the football beat. He was previously a staff writer on the baseball, football and gymnastics beats. He is also a fourth-year communication student.
Royer is the 2023-2024 Assistant Sports editor on the baseball, gymnastics and men's water polo beats and a reporter on the football beat. He was previously a staff writer on the baseball, football and gymnastics beats. He is also a fourth-year communication student.
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