Trojans Unable to Put UCLA Away, Fall 4-2 in Game Two of Series|
May 6, 2017
LOS ANGELES – The Trojans have opportunities early, but are unable to put away the visiting Bruins, and cannot overcome a two-run ninth inning, falling 4-2 to UCLA in game two of the series on Friday evening. The Trojans (19-24, 6-14 Pac-12) outhit the Bruins 11 to eight, but were unable to convert, letting the Bruins (23-20, 12-8 Pac-12) hang around. They tied the ballgame up in the sixth with a solo homer by Sean Bouchard, and then with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the ninth inning, Ryan Kreidler singles to bring home two runs for the Bruins, breaking the deadlock, 4-2.
Trojan starter Chris Clarke (Westlake Village, Calif./Newbury Park HS) was outstanding, going seven complete, allowing just two runs (one earned) on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts. The freshman righty faced his brother Zander Clarke, UCLA’s designated hitter on the night and held him hitless, 0-for-4 on the day.
The Trojan offense got on the board early in the first, putting up two runs on four hits, as Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach HS) delivered an RBI double, his first of four hits on the day. Corey Dempster (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) also drove in a run on a single to right. However, two base running mistakes cost the Trojans a really big inning. First a Trojan was picked off first base after getting caught in a rundown, while Perez was gunned down trying to go first-to-third on Dempster’s single.
The Bruins tallied a run in the top of the second, taking advantage of a Trojan fielding error to extend the inning, allowing Kreidler to double to right to bring home an unearned run.
Clarke carved for the Trojans for the next three innings, as the Trojans led 2-1.
In the sixth inning Bouchard delivered a two-out game-tying home run to make it a 2-2 ballgame.
The Trojans continued to have opportunities, stranding 10 base runners on the day. After chasing Bruin starter Ceja after just 1.1 innings, Jake Bird entered and did a good job keeping the Trojans off balance, striking out seven and allowing just four hits and one walks through 6.1 innings of work in relief.
Reliever Connor Lunn (Carlsbad, Calif./Cathedral Catholic HS), who has been outstanding, put together a 1-2-3 eighth inning, but ran into some trouble in the ninth. After walking the leadoff man, Chase Strumpf singled to put two on, and then with one out, pinch hitter Jake Pries singled in his pinch hit at-bat, putting runners on the corners with one out. Then on an 0-2 pitch, shortstop Ryan Kreidler singled to bring home two runs, giving the Bruins a 4-2 lead. Lefty reliever Austin Manning (Oakdale, Calif./Oakdale HS) entered to record the final two outs of the inning, minimizing the damage.
The Trojans had the opportunity to put something together in the bottom of the ninth inning. With one out, Brady Shockey (Irvine, Calif./JSerra HS) singled to right, bringing the game-tying run to the plate in the form of Lars Nootbaar (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS). Nootbaar worked the count full and as the leader in walks in the conference, he looked to get another on a pitch way outside that was instead called a strike. With two outs, Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS) singled to put runners on the corners, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate in Adalberto Carrillo (Santa Ana, Calif./Tustin HS). However, Carrillo struck out to end the game.
Lunn took the loss to fall to 0-1, while Nick Scheidler, who threw one inning in relief took the win, while Scott Burke recorded the final out for his fourth save of the year.
The Trojans and Bruins will be back in action for game three of the series on Saturday, May 6 at 7 p.m. PT.