LOS ANGELES ?- C.J. Ziegler got a little taste of redemption in
Ziegler’s redeeming shot halted UA’s four-game losing streak and handed head coach Andy Lopez his 200th all-time win at
Trailing 3-2, Dwight Childs reached on a fielding error by Bruins shortstop Brandon Crawford to start the rally in the eighth. A sacrifice bunt and a ground out were followed by Colt Sedbrook getting plunked to place runners on the corner for Ziegler.
The Wildcat first baseman battled UCLA starter Gavin Brooks for seven pitches before launching his team-leading 10th home run of the year to hand
Closer Jason Stoffel (4-0) took over on the mound for the Cats and retired six straight hitters in the eighth and ninth to seal the victory.
Stoffel’s 2 2/3 innings of work earned him his fourth win of the year, while Gavin (3-4) was charged with the loss after surrendering five runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits over eight innings. He finished with 11 strikeouts and just one walk. UA starter Mike Colla, who did not factor in the decision, provided a big lift for the Cats in a career-high appearance. Colla allowed just one earned run on nine hits over a career-best 5 2/3 innings pitched.
The Wildcats struck first, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Sophomores Brad Glenn, T.J. Steele and Jon Gaston led off the inning with three consecutive hits to load the bases.
With pinch hitter Oliver Padre at the plate and one out, Bruins’ catcher Ryan Babineau allowed the first run to score on a passed ball that plated Glenn from third and pushed Gaston and Steele to second and third respectively. Padre then plated Steele from third with a sacrifice fly to left for his first career RBI to hand UA a 2-0 edge.
The Bruins struck back with pair runs to tie the game in the home half of the inning when Ziegler allowed what would have been an inning-ending two-out grounder off the bat of to slide right through his legs to let two runs score.
Another defensive snafu by Ziegler on stolen base attempt by Babineau in the sixth extended the frame, allowing the go-ahead run to score a couple of batters later.
With two down in the inning, Babieneau broke for second on a steal attempt off right-hander Mike Colla. The UA hurler stepped off and threw to Robert Abel at short in plenty of time to nail Babineau. The UCLA backstop retreated back towards first and evaded Ziegler’s tag on a throw for what would have been the third out after a throw from Abel.
The miscue extended the inning and allowed Alden Carrithers to drive in the go-ahead with a run-scoring single two batters latter to hand the Bruins a 3-2 lead.