UCLA entered the eighth inning trailing #15 San Diego St., 3-2, but thanks to an error and five hits, the Bruins put a five spot on the board and defeated the Aztecs 7-3. Starting pitcher Garett Clapypool set a career high with eight strikouts and he didn't walk a single batter in his 5.1 strong innings, while Eddie Murray registered three RBI at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
The Aztec offense only had two hits in the first two innings, but they made them count. Mitch Blackburn hit a first inning home run and Cory Vaughn belted one in the second inning to give the Aztecs two runs in the first two innings. UCLA got a run of their own in the middle of it when Murray singled in the top of the second to score Gabe Cohen from third. After two innings, San Diego St. led the Bruins, 2-1.
Both teams went down in order in the third inning, but the Bruins evened up the contest in the fourth. Cohen walked with one out and stole second base, his second stolen base on the evening. Tyler Rahmatulla then singled to right field, bringing Cohen around to score and knotting the game at two apiece.
Neither team posed much of a threat until the sixth inning that brought Claypool's night to a close. After getting a fly out to leadoff the inning, Claypool surrendered a double to Brandon Meredith. That ended Claypool's outing and Matt Grace took the mound in his place in an attempt to keep the game tied at two. Grace's attempt didn't go too well though as Erik Castro singled on the second pitch Grace threw to plate Meredith and give the Aztecs a 3-2 lead.
That lead held until the eighth when the Bruins took hold of the game. Chris Amezquita led off the inning with a single and following an out, Rahmatulla reached on an error to put runners on first and second with one out. Justin Uribe hit a ground ball to second base that the fielder could not make a play on, bringing Murray to the plate with the bases loaded. Murray came through for UCLA, stroking a double to left that scored two and put the Bruins ahead by a score of 4-3. UCLA extended that lead with two out when Blair Dunlap doubled to bring two more around to score and a bunt single by Gino Aielli scored one more to give the Bruins a 7-3 advantage.
Grace continued to pitch through the eighth and retired the Aztecs without surrendering a run. The southpaw went 2.2 innings for the Bruins without allowing a run before turning the ball over to Gavin Brooks who closed out San Diego St.
Grace got the win for the Bruins to improve his record to 3-2 on the year. Murray's 2-6 effort with three RBI and one run paced the Bruins, while Cody Decker and Uribe each had two hits of their own. Dunlap had a pair of RBI on the night and Cohen scored a pair of runs to go with his two stolen bags as the Bruins improved to 14-19 on the year. They will return home this Friday to begin a three game set with Washington, a game that begins a stretch where the Bruins will play seven of eight and 12 of 16 at Jackie Robinson Stadium.