Courtesy of Kent State Sports Information
LOS ANGELES - The Golden Flashes had a chance to take a lead in the top of the first, but the Bruins held the KSU offense scoreless and scored 15 unanswered runs as the Flashes fell to UCLA 15-1 Friday night (June 4) in the first round of the Los Angeles Regional. UCLA improves to 44-13 on the year while Kent State falls to 39-24.
"Well, to put simply it was starting pitching," said Head Coach Scott Stricklin. "Gerrit Cole was obviously very good, but Robert Sabo did not have a good start. That was the difference in the game and the it was over very early."
Senior Anthony Gallas and sophomore Jimmy Rider both went 2-for-4 while freshman George Roberts added a double.
Redshirt junior Robert Sabo took the loss for Kent State, falling to 6-5 on the year, giving up seven runs on four hits in 2.2 innings pitched. Gerrit Cole improved to 10-2 on the year for UCLA, giving up one hit in five innings pitched.
Beau Amaral was 2-for-3 for UCLA with two runs scored and two RBI's. Chris Giovinazzo had two hits in five at-bats with three RBI's and two runs scored.
Kent State had a chance to take a lead in the top of the first, but the Flashes quickly found out that fly balls were not carrying at all. With one down, junior Ben Klafczynski reached on a catcher's obstruction and advanced to second when Gallas skied a ball to center field that neither the shortstop or center fielder could get under. Sophomore Travis Shaw followed with a smash to right center, but the ball died and the center fielder made the running catch. Sophomore Kyle McMillen struck out to end the threat.
In the bottom of the first, UCLA jumped out to a 2-0 lead they never relinquished. Amaral led off the inning with a single and advanced to second when Blair Dunlap was hit by a pitch. After Tyler Rahmatulla walked to load the bases, Justin Uribe grounded into a double play but plated the first run of the game. Cory Regis added a two-out RBI double to put UCLA up 2-0 after one.
After going in order in the second, the Bruins exploded with five in the third. Uribe grounded out to shortstop for the second out of the inning but plated a run. After Regis walked, Giovinazzo hit a sharply ground ball to short that he just beat out to keep the inning alive to score another run. Two more hits batsmen by Sabo and a little flare to left field by Steve Rodriguez off of redshirt junior reliever Brennen Glass put the home team up 7-0.
UCLA struck for five more in the fourth and three additional runs in the sixth before Kent State scored it only run in the top of the ninth. Rider led off the inning with a single and advanced to third on Roberts one-out double. Freshman Jason Bagoly followed with an RBI single to center field to score Rider.
Kent State returns to action tomorrow against third-seeded UC Irvine. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. PST (5 p.m. EST).