Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
The Bruins offense struggled again on Saturday, but as is their M.O., they won even when they weren't at their best.
UCLA is making a habit out of ugly wins. That has become the norm for the Bruins, who are in a bit of an adjustment period early in the season as guys fit into new roles, but they are still getting the necessary victories, as they did on Saturday. The Bruins managed just five hits against Wright St., but that was enough to pick up a 4-2 win that clinched the series and pushed their record to 7-2 on the season.
Nick Vander Tuig made sure the Bruins' meager offensive output would be enough with 7.1 strong innings. The junior allowed just two runs on six hits to pick up the win an improve to 2-1 on the season. Ryan Deeter was shaky in his short relief stint, walking one and giving up a hit, but David Berg ensured the win with three strikeouts in 1.1 perfect innings to earn his second save in as many days.
The Bruins fell behind in the second inning when a leadoff double came back to bite Vander Tuig. The right-hander almost got out of the inning unscathed, but a two-out single plated the leadoff man and UCLA found itself behind.
That deficit would only last a half-inning, though, thanks to Cody Regis. After Chris Keck and Brenton Allen reached with two outs, Regis ripped a single to right center, scoring Keck and Allen to give UCLA a 2-1 lead.
An inning later, Pat Valaika doubled home Brian Carroll and the Bruins had stretched their lead out. It was UCLA's last rally for a while and the next time they did finally get something going, they left the bases loaded in the sixth.
UCLA did get back on the scoreboard in the seventh and once again it was Carroll who got it going. The junior was hit by a pitch, stole second and then scored on Kramer's single to stretch the Bruins' lead to 4-1.
Since inducing a 6-4-3 double play to get out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth, Vander Tuig cruised. He hurled consecutive 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and seventh and got the leadoff man in the eighth, but a one-out double ended his day. John Savage went to Deeter, who promptly allowed a RBI double that cut the UCLA advantage to 4-2. After a strikeout, Deeter issued a four-pitch walk, which forced Savage to go to Berg, who got the third out.
The ninth inning was as easy as can be for Berg, who struck out the first two then induced a game-ending groundout to seal up another ugly win, but a win nonetheless.