Yesterday the Bruins stayed alive in the L.A. Regional round by defeating Maryland 4-2. So the winner of tonight's game advances to the Super Regional round to face Virginia.
UCLA started RHP Grant (4-1, 1.80 era) vs. Maryland's Taylor Bloom (1-3, 4.55 era). Given the do-or-die nature of tonight's game, all arms in both bullpens were on full alert.
Which team will blink first?
Both pitchers sailed through the first two innings. In the top of the third, Darrell Miller hit a ground ball that Jose Cuas booted. Miller advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, and then got to third on a wild pitch. Trent Chatterton hit a fly to medium center. LaMonte Wade drifted to his left, made the catch, then unleashed a perfect throw to nab the runner. Bloom continued to pitch well, allowing only a single by Ty Moore in four innings of work.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Terps drew first blood. Martir walked. After two were out, Anthony Papio drove a double off the right-center field wall for an RBI double.
Bloom retired the side in order in the fifth. In the bottom of the inning, UCLA brought in RHP James Kaprielian to pitch. Kaprielian is UCLA's ace, and pitched on Friday night. The Terps managed only an infield hit in the frame.
Bloom came out for the sixth, and held the Bruins scoreless.
Terps go up 2-0
Brandon Lowe drew a one-out walk. Martir singled through the right side, putting runners on the corners. A wild pitch sent Martir to second, but Lowe had to hold up at third. That took away the double play possibility. Nick Cieri hit a grounder to second that brought home Lowe: the Terps now led 2-0.
Error leads to a UCLA run
Ty Moore drew a leadoff walk in the top of the seventh. That concluded Bloom's night, and what a night it was: 6ip, 1h, 1r, 1bb, 2so. Kevin Mooney came in the game to try for a three-inning save. Luke Persico hit a liner that look destined to fall in for a single, but Anthony Papio stretched out and made the catch. Chris Keck hit a grounder to Lowe that was booted. Kort Peterson followed with a single that drew the Bruins to within a run. Mooney struck out the next two batters to keep the Terps up by a run.
Ace firemen duel to the end
RHP David Berg, the all-time saves leader in NCAA history, came in to pitch in the bottom of the seventh. Jose Cuas struck out. Tim Lewis and Kevin Biondic hit consecutive singles. However, Wade hit a force out to second and Kevin Smith hit a shallow fly that Chatterton snagged.
Mooney retried the side in order in the eighth. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Martir collected his third single of the game, and Cieri drew a walk. Papio hit a ground out that advanced both runners.But Berg struck out Cuas, so the game went to the ninth with the Terps clinging to a 2-1 lead.
Mooney registered his fourth strike out by fanning Moore. Persico lined out to Lewis. But then a walk and a single put Bruins on the corners. Mooney struck out Miller to end the game, and the dogpile ensued. Maryland is going to the Super Regionals.
Bloom got the victory to go to 2-3, and Mooney notched his 11th save. Overall Maryland is 42-22. Now it's time for redemption in Charlottesville.