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Falling twice to Washington State, UCLA baseball drops to No. 23 in the rankings

Senior catcher Darius Perry watched a pitch come in during a game against Arizona. (Felicia Keller/Daily Bruin)


No. 23 UCLA5
Washington State9
No. 23 UCLA1
Washington State5

By Ava Abrishamchian

April 4, 2023 10:39 a.m.

A duo of road losses over the weekend extended the Bruins’ losing streak.

After snow caused Saturday’s contest to be postponed, No. 23 UCLA baseball (16-8, 6-5 Pac-12) found itself on the back foot for much of the series against Washington State (18-9, 5-6), falling short by four runs in both Friday’s and Sunday’s matchups. The blue and gold has now dropped five consecutive games.

Coach John Savage said the Bruins were simply outplayed.

“(Washington State) did a good job of hitting some mistakes,” Savage said. “We hung in there and had some good at bats, but at the end of the day, I thought they just played better baseball through and through.”

UCLA came out firing in the second inning of Friday’s game with a pair of hits from sophomore first baseman Jack Holman and senior catcher Darius Perry. A sacrifice fly from junior outfielder JonJon Vaughns put the Bruins on the board first before a throwing error scored Perry, who would later notch a home run.

However, it was not enough to keep the lead after a four-run frame catapulted the Cougars to the top. The Bruins attempted to cut the deficit with runs in the fourth and fifth innings, but another four runs in the home half of the fourth proved to be insurmountable, as the Bruins fell 9-5.

Holman says the game plan was to get on base to get some momentum, but the Bruins fell short.

“We try and just think of getting the first guy on base and then after that and just string bases together and score some runs,” Holman said. “It’s a tough place to play. And I think we just didn’t bring the game that we needed to in order to in order to win.”

After Saturday’s postponement, the Bruins arrived on Sunday with the chance to get back in the win column. However, the Bruins stalled, with their only run coming on a homer by sophomore shortstop Cody Schrier.

On the mound, the Bruins started the weekend series with junior right-hander Jake Brooks. The righty was relieved by senior left-hander Jake Saum in the fourth inning but was credited with allowing all nine of Washington State’s runs. Freshman right-hander Cody Delvecchio teamed up with redshirt sophomore right-hander Chris Aldrich to hold the Cougars scoreless in the last two innings.

To finish the weekend off, sophomore right-hander Alonzo Tredwell started for the first time since March 18 after dealing with an injury. After giving up three earned runs during his four-inning appearance, Tredwell said his mistake pitches cost him.

“I put two mistakes over the plate, and then they capitalized on it,” Tredwell said. “In this league, people hammer mistakes, and that’s what they did.”

This series loss culminates a five-game losing streak for the Bruins and an 11-place drop in the rankings. Despite starting the season winning in their first Pac-12 series, the Bruins have experienced a tumultuous road, including a number of injuries to the roster. However, the team doesn’t plan to forget the difficult road to Omaha this year but rather use it as motivation for the rest of the season, according to Savage.

“We’ve had a little adversity, and we’ll see who the tough guys are,” Savage said. “We could use this adversity to our advantage. If you know what you’re doing as a coach, if you know what you’re doing as a player, then you respond correctly from this, and we get better.”

UCLA will travel to Long Beach State on Tuesday to conclude the now four-game road trip.

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Ava Abrishamchian
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