UCLA’s Youth Movement Downs ASUAt The Ballpark
LOS ANGELES — If the youth shall inherit the Earth, then look no further than the Arizona State-UCLA game today at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Okay, they won’t be taking over our planet per se, but we have already seen plenty of first year players across the country making huge impressions and taking over our sport of college baseball.
Here in Westwood, Arizona State and UCLA combined to have nine freshmen and seven sophomores in today’s starting lineup. That included both freshman starting pitchers as UCLA trotted out Zach Pettway and ASU gave the ball to Boyd Vander Kooi.
Well today, the Bruin youth movement was the stronger of the two. And how.
When I first got to the yard and grabbed a starting lineup sheet from the press box, two things jumped out at me, 1- ASU was starting five freshmen in their batting order and 2- UCLA was starting a pair of freshmen I had never heard of before in the four games of theirs I had seen this season.
Game wise, the Bruins didn’t waste any time in piling on the Sun Devils, scoring three runs in the second inning and five runs in the third inning, turning this one into a boat race. UCLA started two freshmen who came into the game with very little use so far this season in shortstop Kevin Kendall (who had five at-bats all season) and DH RJ Teijeiro (who had eight at-bats all season). But these two were nothing to sneeze at with both making the biggest contributions in the game.
Kendall finished the game going 3-for-5 with a run scored and Teijeiro was 3-for-3 with a walk and two doubles to energize the offense for the home team.
Kendall got singles in both of his first two at-bats and also laced his third at-bat to right field with solid contact. Teijeiro had what could be called a banner day, going single, walk and double his first three at-bats and also scored all three times, including marking the Bruins first run of the day in the second inning.