Saturday, June 15, 2024

NewsSportsArtsOpinionThe QuadPhotoVideoIllustrationsCartoonsGraphicsThe StackPRIMEEnterpriseInteractivesPodcastsBruinwalkClassifieds


SJP and UC Divest Coalition Demonstrations at UCLAUCLA chancellor appointment

Strike zone struggles lead UCLA baseball to loss against Washington State

Redshirt junior outfielder AJ Salgado throws the ball in the outfield at Jackie Robinson Stadium. (Michael Gallagher/Daily Bruin)

By Kai Dizon

March 17, 2024 10:43 a.m.

Matthew Gobel took the mound with the bases loaded, two outs and his team trailing by one.

Not a single batter got a hit off the freshman right-hander.

Instead, Gobel hit three batters – surrendering three runs in the process.

Gobel, in the second appearance of his career, was relieved after throwing just five pitches – with the game tumbling out of the Bruins’ reach.

UCLA baseball (6-11, 1-4 Pac-12) lost to Washington State (10-7, 2-3) on Saturday 12-5 at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Just a day after entering the win column for the first time this month, the Bruins picked up another loss, having dropped 11 of their last 14 games.

“We were trying to get through one inning and then get to Luke (freshman right-hander Luke Rodriguez), and we weren’t able to do it,” said coach John Savage. “Relievers didn’t do their job.”

With Saturday starter sophomore right-hander Finn McIlroy sidelined due to elbow soreness, sophomore right-hander Michael Barnett got the nod a day earlier than his regular Sunday start.

Barnett entered the game with a 1.3 walks per nine innings – second in the Pac-12 among pitchers with at least 20 innings pitched – but in the second inning alone, Barnett walked more batters than he had all season. He finished the game issuing six free passes.

“He wasn’t able to find the strike zone,” Savage said. “When he can’t do that, it makes it really hard (for us to win) on the game.”

After 2.2 innings of work and four earned runs, Barnett was relieved in favor of senior right-hander Caedon Kottinger, but the pitching change brought on more of the same.

Kottinger walked three and allowed a hit in his inning of work before Savage handed the ball over to Gobel.

UCLA finished Saturday allowing nine hits and 13 walks.

Rodriguez, on the other hand, performed the opposite of his fellow pitchers. The Shafter, California, local ended the fourth with a strikeout and pitched another four innings while allowing just one run.

“I just tried to go pitch by pitch – keep a good pulse,” Rodriguez said. “Whenever they call me to pitch, I’m ready to go.”

The game wasn’t always out of reach, however.

UCLA jumped out to an early 3-1 lead after the Bruins hit five singles in the first inning, the first of which came off the bat of junior outfielder AJ Salgado.

“I feel pretty confident,” Salgado said. “Coach Ward (assistant coach Bryant Ward) has been talking about focusing on the quality of at-bats rather than the outcome. Having that approach – that’s been good for me.”

Despite scoring four runs in the game’s first three innings, the Bruins scored just one run – a solo homer from senior outfielder JonJon Vaughns – the rest of the way. UCLA had only one runner in scoring position across the final six frames.

Freshman right-hander Landon Stump, the regular midweek starter for the Bruins, will get the ball in Sunday’s rubber match against the Cougars.

“We have an opportunity tomorrow (Sunday) to get back at it and win a series,” Savage said.

Share this story:FacebookTwitterRedditEmail
Kai Dizon
Featured Classifieds
Room for Rent

Furnished studio/bedroom unit w/private bath between UCLA and Santa Monica $1,175 month. Single bus public transport to UCLA or the beach. Txt 1(805)551-9922

More classifieds »
Related Posts