If there was a way to quiet a sea of Bulldog fans, the first 3 1/2 innings did just that. UCLA put runners on base all over the place and scored three runs to take an early 3-0 edge. Trevor Fitts only lasted 1.1 innings before Chad Girodo came in to shut the door in the 2nd. But Girodo struggled in the 3rd and 4th innings himself allowing the Bruins to break through for a couple of runs. Offensively, the first 10 MSU batters were set down.
Alex Detz broke though with a single in the 4th inning and that seemed to get the offense going but it just couldn't get off the ground. A bases loaded walk by C.T. Bradford scored the first run in that inning. In the 5th Nick Ammirati laced one into right field (obligatory would have been a HR in all other ballparks) but their right fielder made a great play at the wall. That turned out to be a big play as Demarcus Henderson was able to get on base via an error by the pitcher, and Adam Frazier's third consecutive flyout to LF may have been a sac fly. In the 7th inning the Bulldogs had runners on 1st & 2nd with no outs but after failing to get the bunt down Henderson grounded into a double play and the rally was killed.
Girodo settled down after the 4th inning and delivered five consecutive scoreless frames from the 5th-9th, retiring 15 of the final 16 men he faced. He threw 120 pitches on the night, and struck out nine.
The Dawgs mounted a rally in the 9th when C.T. Bradford and Sam Frost hit opposite field singles, but failed to score on UCLA's 1st team All-American closer.
The approach at the plate for MSU was really poor. Frazier, Renfroe and Rea were a combined 0 for 10 with 2 HBP. Lots and lots of pop ups. The team didn't look loose and ready after UCLA scored their first inning run. The entire night it seemed as if their lead was insurmountable, even though it was actually very small.
The good news is, we live to fight another day. Game 2 will be the same time Tuesday night. Not sure who will start, but there are still plenty of fresh arms available as Chad Girodo's 7 2/3 innings leaves the 'pen fresh.
Let's hope we get a different result for the Bulldogs tomorrow night. Hopefully the loose bunch we've seen up to this point will reappear. Hail State.