The No. 12 USC men’s tennis team fell to No. 6 UCLA 5-2 on Tuesday in a non-conference crosstown showdown in Westwood.This was USC’s first outdoor loss in the season, as the previous two both came in the ITA Indoor Championships.The Bruins clinched the match after a three-set win on court 4 by senior Karue Sell over freshman Jake DeVine. The match started off tight at doubles. On court 2, UCLA duo Karue Sell and Joseph Di Giulio battled to beat freshman Jack Jaede and senior Max de Vroome 6-2 after pulling out a 4-0 streak. On court 1, junior Nick Crystal and freshman Laurens Verboven were able to upset the third team in the nation, Mackenzie McDonald and Martin Redlicki, with a 6-4 win. The Trojans were up 4-1 before the Bruins tied back at 4-all. After holding serve, UCLA saved two match points, bringing it to the deciding point. There, Crystal was able to use his experience and, with a backhand winner, tied the doubles score. It was all left to court 3, where UCLA’s Maxime Cressy and Gage Brymer were up a break and serving for the match against freshman Jake DeVine and junior Rob Bellamy. At 5-4 and 30-all, the Bruins pulled out a great defensive point that forced the Trojans into an unforced error, before a return error by DeVine awarded the doubles point to UCLA.At singles, the situation didn’t change. On court 6, Jaede couldn’t do much against Di Giulio, who gave the Bruins the second point thanks to his 6-1, 6-1 win. On court 1, No. 65 de Vroome lost the first set 6-2 to No.19 McDonald. After a close start with no break in the second set, the Bruins managed to win the second set 6-4, giving the third point to UCLA, which was just one point away from winning the match. Meanwhile, all the other matches were close. On court 2, No. 67 Nick Crystal managed to win the first set against No.36 Redlicki in a close tie-break that ended 7-5 for the Trojans, who battled back from 4-2 to secure the first set. No. 56 Logan Smith faltered in the ninth game by No. 46 Brymer and was not able to break back, losing the first set 6-4. No. 92 DeVine lost the first set 6-4 to No. 94 Sell, while on court 5, Thibault Forget seemed to had an easy win in his belt, but Logan Staggs was able to come back after being down 1-6, 0-4, tying the second set at 4-4. Both players held serve and the game was tied at 5 all. There the Frenchman was able to hold serve and break his opponent, closing the set 6-1, 7-5, putting the Trojans in the scoreboard.I got a little bit nervous and [Staggs] played a little better going into rallies,” Forget said. “I was not able to keep on going and finishing the point early. When we went to 6-5, I had good energy to reproduce what I did in the first set.”On court 2, Crystal managed to win the second set 6-2, closing the gap in the score. It was all left up to courts 3 and 4, with the Trojans called to win both courts to complete what would have been an amazing comeback. With all the eyes of the crowd toward court 4, where USC had won the second set 6-4, home favorite Sell was able to play his experience against DeVine, clinching the match with the score of 6-4, 4-6, 6-1. On court 3, the match went on, and it ended with a win by UCLA with the score of 4-6, 6-2, 6-7(8).“It’s always a battle between us,” Crystal said. “A takeaway is that we can compete with them. It’s the first time for a lot of freshmen playing UCLA. It’s good to see the environment. They were always battling and it was a close match all the way through.”USC is now 7-3 overall and the team is now heading to the Pacific Coast Doubles Tournament on Thursday.
The Nationals routed the Rockies, 12-2, dropping them from sole possession of first place in the NL West. The Dodgers and Rockies will go into the final day of the regular season tied atop the division.If the Dodgers and Rockies both win or both lose Sunday, they will play a Game 163 in Los Angeles on Monday.Related Articles How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “We made the playoffs. We’re one of 10 teams in the playoffs right now so we’re celebrating,” Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw said in the post-game locker room Saturday.“Unfortunately, it’s not in our own hands (to win the division). We’ve got to root on the Nationals. They’ve got their two horses going in Stras (Stephen Strasburg who started Saturday) and (Max) Scherzer and we’ve got to do our part tomorrow. You never know. It’s fun to have something to root for.”The Nationals took some of the fun out of it when manager Dave Martinez announced after Saturday’s game that Scherzer would not start Sunday. Instead, the Rockies will face 2014 first-round draft pick Erick Fedde, a 25-year-old right-hander with a 2-4 record and 6.28 ERA in 13 career big-league starts.That unexpected change by the Nationals no doubt factored into the Dodgers’ decision to start Hill on Sunday and hold Buehler back for a possible one-game playoff with the Rockies on Monday — or a wild-card game on Tuesday.Buehler has been the Dodgers’ best starter for the past two months. Over his past 11 starts, Buehler has a 1.70 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP and 84 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .167 batting average.While Hill has a good record against the Giants (6-2, 2.47), he has not finished strong this season. Over his past five starts, he has a 5.14 ERA with 23 hits including six home runs allowed in 28 innings.UP NEXTDodgers LHP Rich Hill (10-5, 3.87 ERA) at Giants LHP Andrew Suarez (7-12, 4.22 ERA), Sunday, 12:05 p.m., SportsNet LA (where available) For the Dodgers, finishing on top of the division means the significant difference between traveling to Chicago or Milwaukee (the NL Central leaders are also deadlocked heading into Sunday) in an elimination-game scenario immediately (a one-game, wild-card playoff) on Tuesday or possibly hosting the Atlanta Braves in an NL Division Series beginning Thursday — the expected outcome when the Dodgers left LA on this season-ending road trip a whipsaw week of twists and turns ago.“You’re talking about workload, rest, less travel, setting up a rotation — things we’ve had the luxury of havng the last few years,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the difference between starting the playoffs as a wild card or division winner. “Teams have done it (won a championship) through the wild card. With the depth we have, it keeps coming back to that word, but it rings true with our club.”A wild-card team hasn’t made it to the World Series since 2014 when both the Giants and Royals did. They are the only wild-card teams to advance that far since the format was changed in 2012 to add a second wild card and make it a one-game playoff. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco SAN FRANCISCO — The last time the Dodgers failed to win the National League West division title, Walker Buehler was starting his freshman year at Vanderbilt.He will still be on the sidelines Sunday at AT&T Park. The Dodgers debated the decision deep into the evening Sunday before announcing they would start veteran Rich Hill with a chance to pitch them to their sixth consecutive division title.As the Dodgers sprayed champagne and beer over each other following Saturday’s win — assuring they will play in the postseason as a division winner or wild-card team — Buehler and Hill were both possible starters for Sunday’s series finale in San Francisco.The decision, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, would be “contingent on the night game” between the Colorado Rockies and Washington Nationals.