UCLA falls to Mary­land, 2-1, in fi­nal

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Chris Foster chris.foster@la­times.com Staff writer Chris Dufresne and cor­re­spon­dent Shot­gun Spratling con­trib­uted to this re­port.

Get­ting through an NCAA tour­na­ment re­gional can be a les­son in base­ball eco­nomics. Pitch­ing is the gold stan­dard.

Mary­land found a nugget in Tay­lor Bloom.

UCLA and Mary­land were locked in a strug­gle of at­tri­tion dur­ing a week­end that ex­tended into Mon­day night in the Los An­ge­les Re­gional. Both got more than they could hope for from their pitch­ing staffs.

Mary­land got a lit­tle more in a 2-1 victory at Jackie Robin­son Sta­dium.

Bloom, mak­ing his fifth start, threw six shutout innings, al­low­ing one hit and one un­earned run. Kevin Mooney went the last three, strik­ing out Dar­rell Miller Jr. with run­ners on first and third in the ninth to start the Ter­rap­ins’ cel­e­bra­tion.

Mary­land (42-22) had only three NCAA tour­na­ment ap­pear­ances un­til last sea­son. This is the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year the Ter­rap­ins have reached the su­per re­gional.

They face Vir­ginia this week­end.

For the Bru­ins (45-16), it was a dis­ap­point­ing fin­ish. They en­tered as the No. 1seeded team in the tour­na­ment over­all, but lost two of three games to Mary­land.

This was the fifth game in four days for the Bru­ins and the fourth for the Ter­rap­ins. Wear and tear on the pitch­ing staffs was a given.

“I told Tay­lor, his start was as good as good can be pitch­ing against the No. 1 team at their place,” Mary­land Coach John Szefc said.

Bloom was tabbed as the Ter­rap­ins looked for some­one to chew up a few innings in a tag-team pitch­ing plan.

He chewed up so many that Mary­land needed only to tap Mooney, the team’s closer, who picked up his 11th save.

Both teams were look­ing to be cre­ative with pitch­ing, some­thing that can be dif­fi­cult in a long re­gional.

Said UCLA Coach John Sav­age be­fore the game, “We like to es­tab­lish roles, sev­enth-in­ning guy, eighth-in­ning guy, closer, long re­liever. It’s vi­tal to have depth in case you get into a sit­u­a­tion where you’re play­ing five games in four days.”

The Bru­ins and Ter­rap­ins were down to that Mon­day.

UCLA got a good ef­fort from Grant Dyer, who was mak­ing his first start of the sea­son.

He gave up one run in four innings, al­low­ing only a run-scor­ing dou­ble by An­thony Pa­pio in the fourth for a 1-0 lead.

The Ter­rap­ins went up 2-0 on a walk, sin­gle and ground­out in the sixth.

Bloom re­ceived help in the sec­ond when cen­ter fielder La­Monte Wade threw out Miller at the plate.

But mostly, the Bru­ins were baf­fled by Bloom, who al­lowed only six balls hit out of the in­field.

Fuller­ton and Vir­ginia ad­vance

In games that ended af­ter The Times’ print dead­line Sun­day night, Cal State Fuller­ton and Vir­ginia ad­vanced to su­per re­gion­als and Pep­per­dine and USC saw their post­sea­sons end.

Fuller­ton won the re­gional it hosted with a 10-1 victory over Pep­per­dine. Vir­ginia came back from a three-run, eighth-in­ning deficit to de­feat USC, 14-10, in 11 innings to win the Lake Elsi­nore Re­gional.

Fuller­ton got six strong innings from fresh­man Con­nor Se­abold, who scat­tered six hits and a walk and tied his sea­son high with nine strike­outs.

The Ti­tans scored sin­gle runs in the sec­ond and third innings, then took con­trol with four runs in the fourth to chase Pep­per­dine starter Chan­dler Blan­chard, who was pitch­ing in his third game in two days.

USC led, 9-6, through seven innings, but Vir­ginia ul­ti­mately cap­i­tal­ized on mis­takes by the Tro­jans.

USC pitch­ers walked 14, hit three bat­ters, and Tro­jans field­ers com­mit­ted four er­rors.

In the eighth, Vir­ginia loaded the bases on two walks and a hit bat­ter, then tied the score, 9-9, when a base hit by Pavin Smith got un­der the glove of USC left fielder Bobby Sta­hel, clear­ing the bases.

A sim­i­lar play in the 11th in­ning al­lowed Vir­ginia to pull away.

Af­ter the Cava­liers took a 10-9 lead on a run-scor­ing dou­ble by Kevin Do­herty, two walks loaded the bases. Matt Thaiss then lined a sin­gle to right field that got past AJ Ramirez to score three more runs.

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