UCLA rallies to beat Michigan in 12 innings
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Top-seeded UCLA remains alive in the NCAA Baseball Tournament after outlasting Michigan in one of the crazier super regional games in recent memory.
Kevin Kendall’s one-out double in the 12th inning scored Jake Moberg with the go-ahead run as the Bruins forced a deciding game in the super regional with a 5-4 victory over the Wolverines.
“Whatever you wanted in that game was there,” UCLA coach John Savage said. “Our backs were against the wall being the visitor and we were literally one pitch from our season being over.”
Moberg, who came on as a pinch-hitter, reached on a fielding error by pitcher Walker Cleveland (4-3) to lead off the inning and scored on Kendall’s double to right-center.
Holden Powell (4-3), who is the Bruins’ closer, worked a career high five innings and allowed a run on two hits with five strikeouts. The sophomore right-hander said he would be available on Sunday though if needed.
“I was confident in my pitch ability. I was using the energy my team was giving you and trying to get outs,” Powell said.
Cleveland worked two innings and gave up an unearned run and one hit. Michigan had five errors which all happened after the eighth inning.
“It was frustrating and one of those games that never quite materialized,” Michigan coach Erik Bakich said. “We did what we could but the defensive miscues and free passes (10 walks) ended up being too much. We get an opportunity go out tomorrow and they will be champing at the bit and ready to go.”
Michael Toglia, who was the 23rd overall pick by the Colorado Rockies in this week’s MLB draft, drove in two runs and Jeremy Ydens — an eighth-round pick by the Washington Nationals — had two hits.
UCLA loaded the bases with no outs in the 11th courtesy of three Michigan errors, but Jake Pries hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Blake Nelson gloved to tag out two runners. No one ran on the play because they thought it was a line drive. The Bruins had the bases loaded again after Toglia was intentionally walked but Noah Cardenas hit a grounder to end the inning.
Joe Donovan had a two-run homer while Jordan Nowgu, Jimmy Kerr and Nelson each had two hits.
Ryan Kreidler gave UCLA a 4-3 lead in the ninth inning when Michigan left fielder Christian Bullock dropped the potential third out. Michigan though would force extra innings when Jimmy Kerr led off with a double and scored on Jack Blomgren’s sacrifice fly.
Kreidler drew a two-out walk off Jack Weisenburger, stole second and scored when Bullock misplayed Chase Strumpf’s fly ball at the warning track. The Bruins trailed 3-1 after two innings but got within a run in the fifth and tied it in the eighth on Toglia’s home run to left for his team-leading 17th of the season.
Jack Stronach drove in a run and also made what proved to be a huge defensive play in the fifth when he threw out Jordan Nwogu at home after Jordan Brewer’s single to keep the Bruins within two.
Donovan, a sophomore catcher who was 3 for 18 in the NCAA Tournament, homered off Jack Ralston with one out in the second inning to give the Wolverines the lead.
Jeff Criswell, who pitched the final two-thirds of an inning to get the save in Friday’s 3-2 win, got the start on Saturday. The right-hander allowed two runs (one earned) and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.
UCLA’s Ralston went six innings and yielded three runs on seven hits.
The Bruins (52-10) set a program record with its 52nd win and are trying to make the College World Series for the first time since winning it all in 2013. The Wolverines (45-20) haven’t been to Omaha since 1984.