LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Omaha baseball program fell 5-2 against No. 1 overall seed UCLA Friday evening at the NCAA Los Angeles Regional.
The Mavericks fall to 31-23-1 while the Bruins advance through the winner's bracket with an overall record of 48-8.
Payton Kinney notched eight strikeouts with five runs, seven hits and just one walk allowed through 6.0 innings of work against the top team in the nation. In relief, Grant Suponchick tossed 2.0 scoreless with a strikeout and just one hit allowed.
Breyden Eckhout recorded his third homer of the season as he went 1-for-3 at the plate. UCLA's Ryan Garcia improved to 10-0 with 8.1 innings pitched on six strikeouts with two runs, five hits and one walk allowed. Kyle Mora earned his first save of the season for UCLA.
After three hitless innings, Eckhout got the Mavericks on the board with a solo homer over the left field wall.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Bruins loaded the bases on a trio of hits with just one out. The first UCLA run came on a sacrifice fly. Omaha then fell into a 3-1 hole on a 2-RBI single to right field.
UCLA plated two more runs in the bottom of the sixth on back-to-back 1-out doubles. In the bottom of the eighth, Max Gamm singled down the left field line and then advanced to second on a balk, but was left stranded.
Later in the final inning, Smejkal was able to reach second on a UCLA throwing error with no outs. After Ben Palensky popped out, Bonar stepped up to the plate and smashed a single up the middle for the Mavericks' second run of the game. The Bruins, however, were able to hold off the late surge and secured the three-run win.
Omaha returns to action Saturday against No. 2 seed Baylor tomorrow at 4 p.m. (CST) on ESPN3.
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