LOS ANGELES — Stellar pitching, timely hitting and solid defense have been Washington’s formula for winning all season long. Saturday, they got plenty of all three to snap a 13-game losing streak at Jackie Robinson Stadium and even their three-game series versus No. 9 UCLA at one game apiece.
Tyler Davis, the recipient of five double plays turned behind him, had a shutout through eight innings as Washington beat UCLA 8-1 for its first road win against the Bruins since May 29, 2005.
Jack Meggs provided the big blow offensively, smacking a two-out, three-run double to break open a tight game in the fourth inning.
The Huskies (13-6, 1-1 Pac-12) took a 1-0 lead in the second — their first run of the series after being shutout 2-0 Friday night — on a career first for freshman Nyles Nygaard. The third baseman from nearby Torrance muscled a single into right field that scored Chris Baker, who reached on a fielder’s choice. In just his second career start, it was the first RBI of Nygaard’s young UW career.
Washington piled on four more runs — three of which were unearned — off UCLA starter Grant Watson (2-2) in the fourth inning to take the 5-0 lead. After Nygaard reached on a fielding error by shortstop Kevin Kramer that loaded the bases, Levi Jordan walked to force in a run. One out later Meggs laced his bases-clearing double into the right field corner. The three runs batted in on one swing gave Meggs a new single-game career high.
The Huskies weren’t done scoring, though, as Josh Cushing drove the first pitch he saw in the fifth into the right-center gap to score Branden Berry, who led off the inning with a single to extend his hit streak to eight games. The double was Cushing’s second of the game and his single-game career-high third hit.
Cushing’s hit sent Watson to the showers trailing 6-0. He came in with a 1.44 ERA and having allowed just seven runs this season.
The Huskies padded their lead with two more runs in the ninth. Braden Bishop hit into a force play to score one run and Berry singled home another run to cap the scoring.
The cushion was plenty for UW’s ace Davis (4-1). The All-American did not allow his first hit until the fourth inning. Davis faced the minimum 18 batters through six innings as four baserunners allowed were all wiped out on double plays.
He retired the first batter of the ninth before giving up back-to-back hits, including a RBI single to Kramer for UCLA’s (13-5, 1-1 Pac-12) lone run. Troy Rallings came in to get the final two outs and preserve Davis’ 19th career win. The senior moved into a tie for seventh on UW’s all-time wins list.