Trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the UCLA Bruins put together a 4-run inning to beat Gonzaga 6-5 in the opening round of the 2018 NCAA Baseball Tournament regionals in Minneapolis. The Bruins next will face the winner of Canisius vs. top-seed Minnesota in the winner’s bracket.
B9 | Jake Pries hits a sacrifice fly to drive in the game-winning run as the Bruins plate four in the ninth inning to win!
— UCLA Baseball (@UCLABaseball) June 1, 2018
Struggling to capitalize on scoring opportunities for most of the day, the Bruins jumped on Gonzaga relief pitcher Casey Legumina early and often in the final inning.
Third baseman Ryan Kreider was hit by a pitch to open the inning, starting the rally. Then, RJ Teijeiro had a pinch-hit double down the right-field line, followed by shortstop Kevin Kendall singling, scoring Kreider.
The rally continued as second baseman Chase Stumpf singled into the gap, scoring Teijeiro and putting the Bruins down one with only one out. It was Strumpf’s third hit of the afternoon and added to his team-leading batting average.
Feeling the momentum, first baseman Michael Toglia smoked a ground-rule double down the right-field line, tying the score. On the very next pitch, Jake Pries skied a ball to deep to left field, and Strumpf was able to score the game-winner on the sacrifice fly. It sent the Bruins faithful into hysterics.
The comeback was necessary after starting pitcher Jake Bird was hit hard by the Bulldogs, surrendering 5 runs (4 earned) on 6 hits in 7⅔ innings.
🗣️STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND WATCH THESE HIGHLIGHTS! @UCLABaseball pulls off some BruWIN magic to produce a four-run 9th inning rally to win at Regionals! #BackThePac #RoadToOmaha pic.twitter.com/ZrfbkmeEcq
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) June 1, 2018