UCLA Breaks Out The Bats As They Take It To San Diego St., 14-6

Everyone got in on the offense Tuesday night (Photo Credit: Scott Wu)

The majority of UCLA's wins this season have come in very close games. Heading into Tuesday night's game against San Diego St., all but five of the Bruins' wins came by five runs or less. Well, after Tuesday night's game, that number is up to six. The tense moments that UCLA fans have gotten used to this season were nowhere to be found as the Bruins were already ahead 7-0 by the end of the second inning to cruise past the Aztecs. By the end of the night UCLA had put a 14-6 licking on San Diego St. to improve to 20-12 on the season for their ninth win in their last 12 games.

The big and early lead allowed head coach John Savage to get 19 different players into the ballgame. That included a ton of different hitters and seemingly all of them managed to have some success in UCLA's 18 hit effort. Kevin Williams got the start at second base and took advantage with the first four-hit game of the season for a Bruin to go along with two runs and a RBI. Tyler Heineman picked up three hits and had two runs and a RBI of his own as well. Pat Valaika had some fun with deuces, picking up two hits, scoring two and driving in two. Cody Regis also scored a pair of runs, highlighted by a three-run homer that extended his hit streak to 13 games.

For four innings, Zack Weiss looked nearly unhittable, just as he did in his start a week ago. The fifth inning presented some problems for Weiss as a walk and hit by pitch got him into trouble, but he still struck out five in a five inning, two run, two hit start that saw him pick up the win to improve to 3-1 on the year. Chase Brewer and Brandon Lodge each threw scoreless inning of relief, but Scott Griggs had some control issues. He wanted five in a four run, 0.2 inning outing

The first inning didn't start brightly for UCLA as the first two men were retired, but they got some luck later in the inning. A bunt single by Dean Espy and walk by Cody Regis put two men on so when Chris Giovinazzo's blooper found a spot behind first base for a double, Espy came into score for a 1-0 UCLA lead.

Luck followed the Bruins into the second inning after Williams got the inning going with a single and Heineman followed with one of his own. After a ground out moved the two ahead 90 feet, Beau Amaral grounded one to first base, but the Aztecs made an error that kept the third out from being made and allowed Williams to score.

UCLA's 2-0 lead would get a whole lot bigger in the third. A walk by Regis and consecutive bunt singles by Giovinazzo and Cody Keefer loaded up the bases with nobody out. Williams followed with a single to left on an 0-2 pitch that scored Regis and stretched the Bruin lead to 3-0. That's when Valaika added two more runs to the lead with a roped double down the left field line. From there, consecutive ground outs to the right side by Heineman and Jeff Gelalich scored a man from third each time and at the end of three, UCLA was holding onto a comfortable 7-0 advantage.

A one out walk followed by a hit by pitch got Weiss into fifth inning trouble and when it was followed by a double, San Diego St. was on the board for the first time in the game. A RBI ground out followed and after the top half of the fifth, UCLA's lead was cut to 7-2.

It wouldn't be 7-2 for long and once again it started with a hit by Williams as he led off the bottom half of the fifth with an infield single. A single by Valaika and Heineman picked up the Bruins' third bunt single of the game to load up the bases with nobody out. After an out, Amaral pulled a grounder through the right side of the infield for a single that scored both Williams and Valaika. Then with two outs and two men on, Regis put an exclamation point on the inning when he turned on a 2-1 pitch and drove it out to right field for his second home run of the season and a 12-2 UCLA lead.

Consecutive RBI singles in the sixth inning only added to the UCLA lead. First, Navarro singled to right to bring home Keefer, then Brian Carroll picked up his first career RBI when his single to right scored Heineman.

Griggs went out to the mound in the eighth with a huge cushion as the Bruins led 14-2, but his inability to find the plate would see that cushion get smaller, although UCLA's lead was never threatened. The inning started with three consecutive walks and was an indicator of the bad things to come for Griggs. By the time he exited with the bases loaded and only two out, he had walked five and allowed one hit. That accounted for three runs as the Bruins' lead was cut to 14-5. Deeter replaced him and allowed a single that scored a run, one that was charged to Griggs, but then he got the next batter to end the eighth with UCLA ahead 14-6.

From there it was all about just finishing things up and that's what the Bruins did. Deeter tossed a scoreless ninth and UCLA was able to pick up another win in advance of a big Pac-10 series at Stanford this weekend that will be played Thursday through Saturday because of Easter Sunday.

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