UCLA baseball: Second baseman Tyler Rahmatulla breaks wrist, won't play in College World Series
UCLA has lost second baseman Tyler Rahmatulla, who suffered a broken wrist in the dog-pile celebration after the Bruins’ 8-1 victory over Cal State Fullerton Sunday.
Coach John Savage said he learned the status Monday after Rahmatulla underwent an X-ray.
“It was bothering him, but I really didn't think it was much, to be quite honest,” Savage said.
That Rahmatulla’s injury came in the roughhousing after a victory was reminiscent of the Angels’ Kendry Morales, who suffered a fractured leg in the celebration after his walk-off grand slam on May 29.
“It's bad luck for something to come out [of] a very memorable moment [in] baseball history,” Savage said. “You tell players not to get excited after something like that, but it’s a tough position to be in. You think of the Kendry Morales thing and it makes you sick. We lost one of our best players and we didn’t have to.”
Savage said there was probably little to be done to curb enthusiastic celebrations after important victories.
“It’s the last out of a super regional and it did cross my mind,” Savage said. “You hold your breath with these things. We learn from this, move on and make adjustments.”
Rahmatulla, who bats third in the Bruins’ order, kept UCLA alive Saturday. The Bruins were one out from being eliminated when he hit a two-run homer to erase a 6-5 Fullerton lead. UCLA won in 10 innings to force a deciding game on Sunday.
Rahmatulla, who drove in four runs in the Fullerton series, is hitting .328 with seven home runs and 45 runs batted in.
The Bruins face Florida Saturday at 4 p.m. in their College World Series opener.
Rahmatulla will travel with the team to Omaha.
“We wouldn't be where we are without him,” Savage said.
-- Chris Foster
Photo: Tyler Rahmatulla was injured in this post-game celebration. Credit: Jason Redmond, AP.