The Bruins currently have the hot hand, having won the past three: Southern Cal on Sunday, UC Irvine on Tuesday, and last night against Berkeley. If the season's pattern holds true, then the Bruins' run will come to a screeching halt and we'll be treated to the first of three loses in a row. But, it's a golden opportunity for UCLA to break the three-game on-and-off pattern and stay undefeated in Pac-12 play against Berkeley tonight.
Last night, UCLA barely came away with the 3-2 win, with RF Christoph Bono (2-5, 1 R, 1 RBI) driving in the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth with a double in the left field gap. With a one-run lead, it was all David Berg (1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H), who came in the bottom of the ninth and put the Bears away in three straight batters. The late game heroics gave James Kaprielian (3-2, 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 K, 0 BB) his third win of the year and gives UCLA a great opportunity to take a series win on the road tonight in Berkeley.
The Bruins will send crafty lefty junior Grant Watson (2-1, 2.16 ERA, 25.0 IP, 19 K) to the hill, while Berkeley sends out senior lefty Kyle Porter (2-0, 0.95 ERA, 19.0 IP, 12 K) in a match that looks pegged to be a southpaw pitchers' duel. Berkeley has yet to lose a game where Porter started (4-0 when Porter starts), so the Bruins will need to bring their bats and defense to escape with a win tonight.
If you missed it, islandbruin2 had a very good series preview, pinch hitting for Ryan, who is on the road this weekend. If you're not in the Bay Area and unable to make it to Berkeley to see the Bruins live, you can catch it on the Pac-12 Network (called by J.B. Long and J.T. Snow), or you can listen in to Tim Wilhelm on the digital radio through the UCLA Athletics website. Or, if video and audio aren't your thing, you can track it through the official website's Gametracker. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. PST in Berkeley.
This is your Saturday night baseball game thread, so fire away with your comments, observations, and notes as our Bruins look to lock up a series win in a southpaw pitchers' duel against the Berkeley Bears.