NCAA West Regional Baseball Tournament : UCLA Eliminated by Loyola, 12-10
Call it the law of averages, or better yet, the failure to capitalize on opportunities. Whatever the reason, the 1986 season came to an end for the UCLA baseball team Friday at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Facing a must-win situation in the NCAA West Regional, UCLA lost to Loyola Marymount, 12-10. The Bruins thus became the first team eliminated from the tournament. They lost to Hawaii in the first round Thursday.
The victory kept alive Loyola’s hopes of winning the regional title and advancing to the College World Series. The Lions, who lost to UC Santa Barbara Thursday, will play the Gauchos again today at 11 a.m.
Santa Barbara was defeated by Hawaii, 8-6, in the second half of Friday’s doubleheader. The Loyola-Santa Barbara winner plays Hawaii at 3:30 p.m. If Hawaii wins, it goes to the College World Series. If the Rainbows lose, the title game will be Sunday at 1 p.m.
UCLA, which relied on its offense to win the Pacific 10 Southern Division and post its best record (39-21) in seven years, managed only six hits and three runs against Hawaii. The Bruins did better against Loyola, getting 11 hits and 10 runs, but they squandered several chances to score more.
The Bruins trailed, 9-5, after Billy Bean and Jim McAnany hit two-run homers in the top of the fourth inning. They chipped away at the Loyola lead with single runs in the fourth and fifth. But they stranded men at first and third in the fourth and a double play prevented a bigger scoring output in the fifth.
UCLA went ahead with three runs in the sixth, using four walks and two hits, the key blow a two-run double by John Joslyn that chased Lion starter Tim Layana. The Bruins, however, left the bases loaded. They were blanked on two hits the rest of way by relievers Jim Bruske, Eric Reinholtz and Jeff Goettsch.
“Not having the big inning, that was the key,” said Bruin Coach Gary Adams. “They had a couple of four-run innings. We’d get one when we could have gotten two. We had had ample opportunities, but . . . “
Adams also said that playing at Jackie Robinson Stadium might have been a disadvantage for UCLA, that the Bruins may have been pressing because they were expected to win at home.
“Maybe it’s better being shipped out to Maine,” he said. “Then you can be more relaxed and can play loose. We played looser today then yesterday, though.”
Lion Coach Dave Snow, on the other hand, was not concerned about how his team would react when it fell behind, 10-9, in the sixth inning. He was confident Loyola would rally to beat UCLA for the third time this season.
“We’ve been a good come-from-behind team all year long,” he said. “In fact, at times we play better when we’re behind, so I wasn’t worried.”
The Lions scored twice in the eighth inning on a single by Bean and a sacrifice fly by Todd Elliot. Bean also singled home Loyola’s final run in the ninth.
In Hawaii’s victory, the Rainbows built a 7-0 lead after three innings, then held off the Gauchos late charge to remain unbeaten. Randy Oyama’s single and a double by Markus Owens were the key hits during a four-run first inning. Dan Nyssen hit a three-run homer in the the third inning.