Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Baseball's hope to host regional takes hit
By Blair Angulo
Everything that could have gone wrong nearly did for the UCLA baseball team over the weekend.
If not for a 5-2 win Sunday against Oregon State, the Bruins might have been out for the count in the heated Pac-10 race. Ace pitcher and No. 1 draft prospect Gerrit Cole blew a 5-1 lead Friday night and the Bruins were no-hit by Josh Osich Saturday afternoon. Under those circumstances, Sunday's finale was as close to a "must-win" as you'll get in late April.
The Bruins (23-16, 11-7 Pac-10) salvaged a game and trail Oregon State (32-9, 12-3) by four games in the loss column with nine conference games remaining. They are tied with California for third place, two games back of second-place Arizona State.
UCLA did bag a crucial midweek victory against UC Irvine last Tuesday which, in retrospect, softened the blow Oregon State dealt to the Bruins' hopes of hosting a regional at Jackie Robinson Stadium for the second straight year. The Bruins fell two spots in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 coaches' poll, from 20th to 22nd. There is still room for movement, though -- the Bruins have three games with eighth-ranked Arizona State, one against 11th-ranked Cal State Fullerton, one against 19th-ranked Irvine and three against 25th-ranked Cal left on their schedule.