Minnesota eliminates UCLA baseball from NCAA regional

UCLA got one stellar pitching performance to avoid elimination Sunday in the NCAA tournament, but the Bruins couldn’t piece together the bullpen arms needed for a second.

After sophomore pitcher Ryan Garcia starred in UCLA’s 10-4 win over Gonzaga, the Bruins allowed a season-high 13 runs in a season-ending 13-8 loss to No. 14 Minnesota in the Minneapolis Regional.

Starting pitcher Jack Ralston, UCLA’s typical Tuesday starter, didn’t make it out of the second inning. The redshirt sophomore allowed four runs in 1-1/3 innings, including a three-run homer in the second that chased him.

Playing in their fourth game of the weekend, the Bruins (38-21) turned to six pitchers against the Gophers (44-14), and only Holden Powell, who entered in the fifth with UCLA trailing 13-6, lasted longer than two innings. The team’s saves leader pitched three shutout innings with two strikeouts.

The Bruins out-hit the Gophers 12-11 but stranded nine. UCLA overcame the early struggles with a three-run third inning, jumping ahead 5-4 on an RBI single from center fielder Daniel Amaral.

The Gophers then tagged Nick Scheidler for three runs in the third and plated six more runs during the fourth against Michael Townsend.

UCLA, which entered the postseason as the best hitting team in the Pac-12, lost for just the fourth time this year when scoring six or more runs. The Bruins were 30-4 in such games, with one win coming Sunday afternoon against the Bulldogs to avoid elimination.

Freshman Garrett Mitchell drove in a team-high three runs as Garcia pitched a career-high 7-1/3 innings while striking out nine, which tied a career high. He took a no-hitter into the seventh, but was pulled in the eighth after allowing a two-run homer to Carson Breshears. He finished with just three hits, three runs (one earned) and two walks allowed.

The offense produced 13 hits, with two each from Kevin Kendall, Chase Strumpf and Michael Toglia. Eight of the nine starters had at least one hit.

Strumpf was 8 for 19 at the plate in the regional. Mitchell, making his postseason debut, was 5 for 15 with seven RBIs, six coming Sunday.

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Cal State Fullerton baseball fans back home gather to watch Stanford regionals

Cal State Fullerton students, alums and other fans gathered Friday, June 1, at two venues in Fullerton to watch the baseball team take on Big 12 champ Baylor in the NCAA tournament Stanford regional.

The Big West Conference champion Titans defeated Baylor 6-2 and beat Stanford 2-1 on Saturday. Cal State Fullerton plays again Sunday against the winner of the Baylor-Stanford elimination game.

  • Cal State Fullerton baseball fans cheer for the team after pitcher Colton Eastman retires the side against Baylor during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton baseball fans cheer for the team after pitcher Colton Eastman retires the side against Baylor during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • A Cal State Fullerton fan cheers for the team playing against Baylor during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    A Cal State Fullerton fan cheers for the team playing against Baylor during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

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  • Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton baseball fan Tommy Falvai celebrates after Brett Borgogno hits a two-run double in the team’s game against Baylor on Friday afternoon at Stanford. Fans gathered for a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton baseball fan Tommy Falvai celebrates after Brett Borgogno hits a two-run double in the team’s game against Baylor on Friday afternoon at Stanford. Fans gathered for a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

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Cal State Fullerton pitcher honored for no-hitter, team wins six in a row

Cal State Fullerton junior Colton Eastman made history on March 29 and was rewarded for it on April 2 when he was named the Big West Conference Pitcher of the Week after he tossed the fifth no-hitter in program history at UC Santa Barbara.

And on April 3, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association named Eastman the National Pitcher of the Week.

The Fresno native pitched easily his best game of his collegiate baseball career, tossing nine shutout innings, without allowing a run or hit, while striking out seven and walking just one. Before his no-hitter, Eastman had never pitched more than seven innings.

The no-hitter marked Cal State Fullerton’s first since Justin Garza also recorded one in a 3-0 win over Cal State Northridge on May 24, 2014.

Eastman joined Longo Garcia (1987), Ted Silva (1995), Kirk Saarloos (2001) and Garza in the Titan no-hitter club.  Eastman was the first among that five to throw the no-hitter on the road.

He also lowered his Earned Run Average to 2.47, No. 4 in the Big West. Through April 6, Eastman had lowered his ERA again to 2.11 after  tossing 5.2 innings of no-hit baseball that day against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to help CSUF to a 13-5 win. Eastman through April 6 was 4-2 this season.

With a six-game winning streak, Cal State Fullerton is 16-15 and 4-2 in the Big West Conference after a Tuesday night win against Pepperdine (3-2).

Next up for the Titans are three games Friday through Sunday at San Diego State.

Sources: Big West Conference, Cal State Fullerton Athletics

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