UCLA Uses The Long Ball To Beat Arizona 12-5 And Complete Sweep

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Kevin Kramer, Chris Keck and Pat Valaika all hit homers as UCLA finished off a sweep of Arizona.

UCLA's big offensive weekend and hot Pac-12 play continued on Sunday as they put the finishing touches on a sweep of Arizona. The Bruins' much-maligned offense showed the power they have been criticized for lacking with three home runs to smash the Wildcats 12-5 and improve to 34-14 on the season and 17-7 in the conference.

Kevin Kramer, Chris Keck and Pat Valaika all went yard on the afternoon, with Kramer driving in three and scoring two, while Keck drove in four. Shane Zeile chipped in too, with a 2-for-4, two RBI and two run outing as part of the Bruins' 13-hit onslaught.

The Bruins needed the offenses to have another big day because Grant Watson struggle in four innings of work, allowing three runs on six hits, although he did strikeout six. But the sophomore was bailed out by his offense and his bullpen, which worked five solid frames behind him.

Watson first ran into trouble in the second, looking nothing like the pitcher who cruised through the first inning 1-2-3. He allowed a single, a double and another single to start the inning, which scored the first run of the game. After a strikeout, a grounder scored another man and Arizona led 2-0.

Arizona's runs just seemed to wake the UCLA offense up, though. Zeile doubled on a 1-2, two-out pitch to put the Bruins' first man in scoring position and Keck cashed it in. The sophomore tripled to right, scoring Zeile and the Wildcats' lead was down to 2-1, but it wasn't until the third that the Bruins really got going.

Brian Carroll singled with one out in the third and Kramer followed with a single of his own. Eric Filia then played small ball, getting a bunt down to score Carroll and reach him self as UCLA tied the game at two apiece. Arizona handed UCLA a gift with a dropped fly ball that loaded the bases, which Zeile made count with a two-out, two-RBI single to center. The Bruins had their first lead of the game at 4-2, but they weren't dont yet. Keck took a first pitch strike, then jumped on the next one he saw, crushing it out to right for a three-run blast and all of a sudden UCLA was way out in front at 7-2.

Arizona did their best to get back with a leadoff homer in the fourth, but that was all they would muster in the frame. UCLA loaded the bases in the bottom half, but they couldn't come through. That may have bit them when Watson loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth before getting the hook, but Ryan Deeter came in and retired the next three in order and stranded the bases loaded.

With momentum squarely in the Bruins' dugout, they made sure to kill any hope the Wildcats had of a comeback in the bottom of the fifth. Keck started the UCLA rally with a one-out walk and came around to score after singles by Kevin Williams and Ty Moore. Kramer then landed the big blow, squaring up a 3-1 pitch and depositing it over the fence in centerfield for a three-run homer to give UCLA a commanding 11-3 lead to put the nail in Arizona.

To the Wildcats' credit, they didn't fold and go away. They did their best to mount a comeback with a run in the sixth and another in the seventh, but those were sandwiched around a Valaika solo homer as the Bruins wrapped up their sixth consecutive win in Pac-12 play with power, power and some more unexpected power.

Unfortunately for UCLA, Oregon St. has been even hotter and with a sweep of Stanford, ensured that they would keep their three-game lead over the Bruins in the conference.

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