Ty Moore roped a high fastball past a diving first baseman and down the right-field line, enabling Brett Stephens to score the game-winning run from second base to give UCLA a 6-5 walk-off win. The Bruins (33-11) came streaming out of the Jackie Robinson Stadium dugout, rushing to greet Moore at first base.
It was the culmination of a four-inning swing that saved the Bruins' weekend. The No. 2-ranked UCLA baseball team nearly saw its perfect record in weekend series come to an end on Sunday, but it wasn't at the hands of a top-tier Pac-12 opponent.
Instead, it was the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who currently aren't even slotted to make the West Coast Conference's four-team tournament, that had the Bruins on the ropes.
"It was a grind. Gonzaga played very well," Coach John Savage said. "We were fortunate to win that series. There's no question about it. They outplayed us for about 2 1/2 games. To our credit, we stayed with it and bounced back and ended up winning the series."
Gonzaga (21-23) chased...Read more
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley waited two days before knowing his fate.
Hundley, who had hoped to go in the first two rounds of the NFL draft, finally heard his name called when the Green Bay Packers drafted him in the fifth round Saturday. He was the sixth quarterback and the 147th player taken in the draft.
After declaring for the draft in January, forgoing his last year of eligibility, Hundley waded through speculation on where he would be drafted. His workouts at the NFL scouting combine and at UCLA’s pro day displayed his potential, but also revealed holes, in the eyes of scouts.
He is far from a polished quarterback, and scouts feel he needs to refine his pocket mechanics, but his raw talent and confidence made him desirable.
Hundley pondered declaring for the NFL draft a year ago, but chose to remain in school, where he hoped to lead the Bruins to the Pac-12 title and improve his draft possibilities.
He finished his three seasons as UCLA’s starter as the school’s all-time leader...Read more
UCLA defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa was selected Friday by the New York Giants in the NFL draft’s third round.
He was the 74th player taken.
Odighizuwa, who is 6-foot-3 and 267 pounds, saw his stock rise considerably after he performed well at the NFL combine.
Scouts liked his physique and felt he was strong at the point of attack. His pass-rushing abilities remain in question.
After missing the 2013 season after hip surgery, Odighizuwa grew into a formidable defensive lineman. The Bruins moved him around up front and he thrived.
Odighizuwa finished with 11.5 tackles for a loss, including six sacks, and was named second-team All-Pac-12.
Eric Kendricks, one of the top linebackers to come out of UCLA, was drafted Friday by the Minnesota Vikings in the second round of the NFL draft.
Kendricks was projected as a late first-round pick by many experts, but there were concerns from scouts about his size, which is 6 feet and 231 pounds. There were no questions about his desire.
Minnesota used the 45th pick in the draft to get Kendricks, who will join former UCLA teammate and linebacker Anthony Barr.
Kendricks set a UCLA record with 481 tackles by using a seek-and-attack style during his four-year career. He had 10 sacks and five interceptions. Kendricks' performance as a senior earned him the Butkus Award and the Lott Impact Trophy. He was also named second-team All-American by the Associated Press.
But his value to the Bruins went beyond statistics and awards. Kendricks was a team leader, handling the defensive signals. He often willed others to perform at a higher level.
Kendricks was originally projected as a middle-round...Read more
The UCLA quarterback competition could extend past the first game, Bruins’ Coach Jim Mora said during a Pac-12 conference call Thursday.
The Bruins left spring practice without naming a starter. Mora said that Mike Fafaul, Jerry Neuheisel, Josh Rosen and Asiantii Woulard will compete for the job during fall training camp.
That competition between two or more quarterbacks could continue past the first game.
“Heck, we might go three games and not know who the starter is,” Mora said. “We could use the first three games to see where we are at quarterback. As we go, we’ll get a better feel for our football team.”
Mora said such a scenario is “only a possibility.” UCLA has not sorted through quarterbacks since Brett Hundley won the job in 2012.
Mora said he has never entered a season without knowing who would play quarterback
“We’re not ruling anything out,” Mora said. “I have never done that before, so I don’t know what the problems would be or what the advantages would be. Right now, everything...Read more
If you want to win a Pac-12 Conference title, you have to be able to win series on the road. No. 3 UCLA did that this weekend, rallying to win the final two games at Stanford, 10-0 and 9-3, after dropping the opener Friday night.
The Bruins' bats came alive for a combined 19 runs Saturday and Sunday at Sunken Diamond. Leading the way was junior catcher Darrell Miller Jr., who drove in three runs in each of the UCLA victories.
Miller, nephew of UCLA basketball great Reggie Miller, played sparingly his first two seasons, accumulating just 19 at-bats. But when Shane Zeile signed with the Detroit Tigers organization after being drafted in the fifth round last year, the door opened for Miller. He has taken full advantage, starting 34 of the Bruins' first 40 games this season.
He has been a stellar defender all year, and though he is batting just .256, Miller has found his stroke in Pac-12 play. On Saturday, he went two for four with a walk and a double to push UCLA (31-9, 16-5 in conference...Read more