Bumped. GO BRUINS. - BN Eds.
UCLA combined the usual stellar pitching of ace James Kaprielian with some clutch hitting, to roll to their most dominant Friday performance of the season. The Bruins steamrolled Arizona 8-0 in Tucson, scoring early and often.
UCLA opened the scoring in the 3rd inning when Chris Keck was hit by a pitch, went to second on a sac bunt, and scored on a 2 out double to left by Brian Carroll. The Bruins added 3 more in the 4th, as Kevin Williams returned from his injury to knock in a run with a single to right, and Trent Chatterton delivered the key blow of the evening- a 2 out double down the left field line to make the score 4-0.
With the way that Kaprielian was pitching, that was more than enough. But the Bruins weren't done on offense. In the top of the 6th, Brian Carroll got his second 2 out double of the game to drive in Pat Gallagher with the Bruins' 5th run. In the top of the 7th, UCLA added two more after Arizona had gone to their pen. Ty Moore tripled to lead off the inning, and scored on an RBI groundout by Chris Keck. Trent Chatterton knocked in run #7 with another two out clutch hit, scoring Luke Persico on an RBI single.
UCLA added their final run of the game in the top of the 8th, as Shane Zeile scored from 3rd on a 2 out wild pitch off the 4th Arizona pitcher. The Wildcats eventually used 5 pitchers, which could impact tonight's game.
Max Schuh came in to pitch the 8th inning and give James Kaprielian a well deserved rest of the night off. After Schuh pitched a scoreless 8th, Nick Kern pitched a scoreless 9th to preserve the shutout.
There were heroes galore in the UCLA win. James Kaprielian pitched 7 scoreless innings for his 5th win of the season, giving up 4 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 4. Trent Chatterton went 2 for 4, and drove in 3. Brian Carroll went 2 for 5, and drove in 2 from the leadoff spot, among other highlights.
With the win, UCLA improves to 19-13, and improves to 7-3 in conference play, tied for 3rd. Arizona drops to 15-20, 4-9 in conference play which leaves them in a tie for 7th.
Conference leader Washington is now 11-2, 2.5 games ahead of the Bruins, after smoking Stanford at home 6-1. 2nd place Oregon State lost on the road at Washington State 4-1. Oregon State is now 9-4 in conference play, 2 games behind Washington and 1/2 game up on UCLA and Washington State, at identical 7-3 marks.
A Bruins win is always nice, particularly one where the team is clicking on all fronts. But a series win is better. Tonight is game 2 of the series- 1st pitch at 7:30.
Go Bruins !!