The No. 8 ECU baseball team lost both games of a Saturday doubleheader with No. 1 UCLA, making it a three-game sweep over the weekend.
ECU (25-9) held a three-run lead in Friday’s game but couldn’t hold on to win. ECU let an almost win slip out of its fingers yet again in the first game of the doubleheader, losing 8-5 once again thanks in large part to Michael Toglia.
Toglia struck again for a three-run home run to walk it off in the bottom of the ninth off of Alec Burleson. It was Toglia’s second home run of the series after belting one in Friday’s game as well.
UCLA (26-6) scored first with two runs in the second inning thanks to a Jarron Silva RBI double and a Noah Cardenas RBI single.
ECU took a 3-2 lead in the third inning. Burleson RBI double to score Bryant Packard and a Turner Brown two-run single. Lead became 4-2 when Brady Lloyd scored on a wild pitch in the fourth inning.
UCLA responded in the bottom half of the inning to make it 4-3 on a Kreidler RBI single. Mitchell then blasted a two-run home run in the sixth inning to give the Bruins a 5-4 lead.
Brown struck again for an RBI double in the seventh inning to tie the game at 5-5.
Tyler Smith got the start for ECU, giving up three runs (two earned) in 3.1 innings. Gavin Williams went 2.2 innings and gave up another two runs. Zach Barnes pitched two scoreless innings of relief but Burleson gave up the walk-off home run in the ninth.
In the second game of the doubleheader ECU was just never competitive with the Bruins in the 3-0 loss.
UCLA took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on a wild pitch. Strumpf hit a solo home run in the sixth inning to make it 2-0 and Pries hit an RBI single in the eighth to make it 3-0.
The Pirate offense never threatened. They had only four hits as a team, with Packard and Burleson each recording two hits to make up the entire offense. ECU struck out 13 times as a team.
UCLA starter Ryan Garcia went 7.0 innings and pitched great. ECU starter Jake Kuchmaner didn’t pitch badly, going 5.1 innings and allowed just two runs.