LOS ANGELES – For five innings, Baylor’s Hayden Kettler and UCLA’s Zach Pettway matched each other’s double negatives. In the sixth, both lost their no-nos.
And, ultimately, Pettway received a little more help from his teammates. The 12th-ranked Bruins squeaked out just enough run support to take a 3-0 series-clinching win over Baylor on Sunday at Jackie Robinson Park.
Pettway (2-0) pitched eight shutout innings, allowing only three hits while striking out six. UCLA’s Holden Powell took over for the freshman starter in the ninth and tossed up a zero of his own for his second save of the year.
Kettler (1-1) was the tough-luck loser on a day in which he didn’t pitch badly. He didn’t give up a hit until one out was gone in the sixth. He ended up surrendering three hits and two runs – though only one earned – in seven innings, striking out four and walking three.
UCLA (6-1) was able to take a 1-0 lead after an inning despite not recording a hit. Kettler walked a pair of batters, and the Bruins put another on base when BU leftfielder Levi Gilcrease dropped a fly ball. That allowed UCLA to score on Jeremy Ydens’ groundout.
Both pitchers buzzed through the early innings otherwise. Pettway had a perfect game going until Gilcrease played spoiler, leading off the sixth with a double down the left-field line. However, the Bears couldn’t make anything out of the leadoff baserunner, as Pettway retired the next three hitters in order.
UCLA extended its lead to 2-0 in the seventh when Kettler hit the leadoff batter and later surrendered a two-out RBI single to Daniel Amaral. Baylor started the eighth off right with a leadoff single from Andy Thomas, but again the Bears left the baserunner stranded.
After losing the series two games to one, Baylor (3-3) will look to get back above .500 when it hosts Texas State at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday. Then the Bears will travel to Frisco for the Frisco College Classic at Dr Pepper Ballpark beginning Friday, where they’ll face California, Texas A&M and Louisiana Tech.