UCLA baseball Coach John Savage wants to see a more offensive team this year with 22 players returning from last year's national championship team.
But the Bruins' bats kept him waiting in their opener Friday night when they were shut out by Portland, 1-0, and got only four hits at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Ty Moore gave the Bruins some hope when he reached first on a one-out error in the eighth inning. Shane Zeile followed with a single, moving Moore to third, and Pat Gallagher walked to load the bases.
But Moore was forced out at home on Luke Persico's grounder to first and Brett Stephens struck out.
A first-inning run was enough to lift Portland, with Caleb Whalen getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
UCLA sophomore James Kaprielian gave up the one run in five innings, striking out seven. He is one of two new pitchers in the starting rotation after the departure of aces Adam Plutko and Nick Vander Tuig.
Portland junior Travis Radke pitched 42/3 scoreless innings before loading the bases and being replaced by reliever Jackson Lockwood, who struck out Brian Carroll to end the threat.
The Bruins entered the game ranked 12th by Baseball America after their first national championship. But the team has put that behind them, Savage said.
"We're a different team and it's a different season," Savage said. "We're going to get everybody's best punches, so we really want to focus on getting better."
The Bruins continue their three-game series against the Pilots on Saturday at 2 p.m.