LOS ANGELES — After getting two quick outs to start the fifth inning, No. 12 UCLA forgot how to get an out. No. 13 Stanford batted around, scoring six runs on four hits before the Bruins were able to get Danny Diekoeger out for the second time in the inning.
The Cardinal’s six-run outburst was more than enough. Stanford (28-11, 10-8) took Sunday afternoon’s rubber match at Jackie Robinson Stadium 7-2 over UCLA (28-12, 12-9).
Kenny Diekroeger was hit by a pitch to start the two-out rally. A bloop double and a walk loaded the bases for Stephen Piscotty, who was credited with an RBI when he was also hit by a pitch on a full count. Brian Ragira put the Cardinal ahead 3-2 with a two-run single that chased UCLA starter Zack Weiss.
Freshman reliever Grant Watson didn’t have the tourniquet though. He walked Austin Wilson to reload the bases and gave up a two-run single to Eric Smith. David Berg replaced Watson and allowed an RBI single to Alex Blandino before getting Danny Diekroeger to ground out and end the inning.
UCLA had taken a 2-0 lead early with single runs in the first and second innings. Jeff Gelalich had an RBI single in the first, but the Bruins left a pair of runners in scoring position. It was a theme repeated. UCLA added a Beau Amaral sacrifice fly in the second inning but was unable to capitalize on Stanford starter AJ Vanegas’ shaky start, leaving two men on in both innings.
Vanegas pitched only 4+ innings, allowing four hits, four walks and two hit batsmen, yet UCLA was unable to build a larger earlier lead.
“We had Vanegas on the ropes,” UCLA coach John Savage said. “It was just one of those things where we couldn’t cash in.”
After Stanford’s big fifth inning, Vanegas walked the leadoff hitter and was immediately replaced by reliever Sahil Bloom.
Bloom pitched the next five innings without a single strikeout and nearly without a single hit. He allowed just two singles in an unspectacular, yet stellar performance to pick up his second win of the season. Weiss (2-2) took the loss for UCLA.
Tyler Gaffney was a perfect 2-for-2 from the plate with a pair of walks while Cody Keefer was the only Bruin to record a multi-hit game.
Check out the 19-shot photo gallery from Sunday afternoon’s UCLA/Stanford matchup below: