The Bruins came to Atlanta for the first matchup since 1998-99 home and home. Ranked #3 with a 4-0 record, UCLA sent sophomore RHP Zach Pettway (0-0) against Xzavion Curry (1-0). This game would end three and a half hours later with high drama and home team happiness.
After a scoreless first, the Bruins loaded the bases with one out on two singles and a walk in their 2nd. A deep sac fly made it 1-0, but a nice play by Wilhite at SS ended the inning with no further damage. Tech rose to the challenge in their 2nd, scoring two on singles by Serratos and Austin Wilhite and a sac fly by Michael Guldberg.
Curry cost himself a run in the 4th when he threw wildly on a pick-off after a single. The runner moved all the way to 3rd and scored easily on an otherwise routine fly ball.
Luke Waddell broke out of a .067 slump with a solo shot barely over the right field wall to make it 3-2 Jackets after five innings. Freshman Luke Bartnicki relieved Curry for the 6th. Unfortunately, he gave up a single and walk and was relieved by Jonathan Hughes with one out. Hughes gave up a game tying RBI single before an inning ending 6-4-3 DP kept it 3-3.
The bottom of the 7th saw Austin Wilhite called out at 2nd trying to stretch a single, but the call was reversed on video review, putting him on with one out, but Guldberg and brother Nick failed to get him in.
RHP Kyle Mora pitched to Tech in the 8th, and there was another review after Murray scrambled back to 1st when English’s line drive was caught by the center fielder. UCLA somehow thought he was out, but he wasn’t and it turned out not to matter anyway.
English came into pitch the 9th, and got three quick groundouts. Both pitchers got through the 10th, but Tech suffered a loss when Waddell appeared to twist his knee striking out and had to leave the game. Freshman Charlie Benson came in to play second base.
The Jackets played big time defense in the 11th. With a runner on 2nd after a single and bunt, English fielded a bouncer and went to 3rd for out two. Next, Wilhite at SS made a great play in the hole to force out the runner at 2nd. To be clear, had Tristin gone to 1st with the comeback bouncing ball, there would have been no force play at 2nd for out three and the go ahead run would have scored from 3rd. UCLA had missed a golden chance.
Such efforts were quickly rewarded. Leading off the bottom of the 11th, McCann blasted a walk-off homerun off the batters eye. Kyle had hit the ball hard all day with nothing to show for it, but for the second time in a row, Tech celebrated at home, this time as the #3 Bruins walked off the field. English got the win, Mora the loss.
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