As was the case in Friday’s 7-2 loss, Saturday’s game between the Cal baseball team and UCLA was decided by the third inning.
Starter Justin Jones lasted just 2 1/3 innings, but that’s all the Bruins needed to hand Jones his eighth loss of the year. With an 8-5 victory, UCLA clinched the three-game series at Evans Diamond, and will look to become the fourth team to sweep Cal on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The day got off to an ominous start when Jones plunked leadoff hitter Beau Amaral. Two batters later, Jones hit Jeff Gelalich, and both Amaral and Gelalich came around to score on singles for UCLA’s first two runs. The Bruins tacked on two more in the frame to jump out to a 4-0 lead in the opening stanza.
The Bears demonstrated some resolve, striking back in the second inning.
Red-hot outfielder Danny Oh logged an RBI groundout to get the Bears on the board. Designated hitter Vince Bruno singled to drive in shortstop Brenden Farney, cutting the deficit to two.
UCLA was not to be outdone, extending its lead to 7-2 in the third inning. A throwing error by Mitch Delfino, returning to third after several weeks at first base, put runners on second and third with one out. First baseman Matt Giovinazzo capitalized, raking a single to score both runners.
Coach David Esquer yanked Jones in favor of weekday starter Chris Muse-Fisher. Another run scored in the third, but UCLA managed just one run off the freshman on an RBI single in the sixth inning.
Cal matched the Bruins’ hit total with 12 knocks, but two errors and 11 stranded runners cost the Bears. Cal managed to get back two runs in the eighth on an RBI single from Chad Bunting, and he scored on a bases-loaded walk to Tony Renda. The Bears still left the bases juiced to end the inning.