UCLA beats Loyola Marymount, advances to Super Regional
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ryan Kreidler had three hits, Chase Strumpf hit a three-run homer and UCLA advanced to the NCAA Super Regional with a 6-3 victory over Loyola Marymount in Monday night’s deciding game of the Los Angeles regional.
This is the fifth time a national top seed has lost one of its first two games since the current format started in 1999. The Bruins though are the first team since Florida State in 2003 that was able to bounce back and advance. UCLA lost to Loyola Marymount Saturday but beat Baylor in an elimination game on Sunday to get into the regional final. The Bruins beat the Lions 6-1 on Sunday night to force a deciding game.
UCLA (51-9) will host Michigan in the best-of-three Super Regional this weekend.
Strumpf’s drive off Codie Paiva in the fourth gave the Bruins a 6-2 lead. Michael Townsend (3-0), the second of six UCLA pitchers, got the win with 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
All three Loyola Marymount runs were unearned. The Lions jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on a pair of errors by UCLA first baseman Michael Toglia, who was taken in the first round earlier in the day by the Colorado Rockies. UCLA tied it in the first as Kreidler scored on Jake Pries’ sacrifice fly and Strumpf scored on a throwing error.
Toglia’s sacrifice fly in the third scored Kreidler to put UCLA ahead for good.
Brandon Shearer and Tommy Delgado each had two hits for the Lions. Shearer brought Loyola Marymount (34-25) within three runs in the fifth when Strumpf was unable to cleanly field Trevin Esquerra’s grounder.
Lions starter CJ Fernandezees (4-2) took the loss.