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UCLA Bounces Back To Win Second Game Of Doubleheader And Series Against Arizona St.

David Berg worked an inning in both games (Photo Credit: <a href="" target="new">Scott Wu</a>)
David Berg worked an inning in both games (Photo Credit: Scott Wu)

Rain wiped out Saturday's game between #9 UCLA and #11 Arizona St. and then on Sunday, the Sun Devils wiped out the Bruins' 12-game win streak, but it was still a good day for the Bruins. After losing the opening game of the day, 4-3, UCLA came back in game two of the day's doubleheader to win the series against Arizona St. and claim the Pac-12 series. The win Bruins pushed their record to 15-4 and while their win streak may be over, they have still won 14 of their last 16.

Nick Vander Tuig took the loss in the first game of the day, but the freshman Grant Watson picked him up in the second game, picking up the win to improve to 5-0 on the year. Vander Tuig went eight innings and allowed four runs, striking out eight, and Watson threw six innings of two-run ball. David Berg worked an inning of relief in each game, both scoreless, while Ryan Deeter worked an inning out of the bullpen in the second game and Scott Griggs picked up the save with a perfect ninth.

Cody Keefer led the way in the first game with three hits and Eric Filia-Snyder made the most of his first career start, picking up a pair of hits. The freshman then got his second career in the second game of the doubleheader and added two more hits to give himself quite a first day. Beau Amaral was also fantastic in the second game, picking up a hit, driving one in, scoring one, walking twice and stealing a pair, while Jeff Gelalich added the power earlier as he hit his fourth home run of the year in the first game.

Gelalich's home run got the Bruins out of the gate first in the opening game, but the rest of the game became an exercise in leaving men on base. They left a man on third in the third, men at the corners in the fifth and two men on in the seventh. That is in addition to two double plays and a man caught stealing and another picked off.

While the Bruins were leaving men on, the Sun Devils were mounting a comeback. First came a fourth inning home run by Abe Ruiz that Amaral tracked down in center field, but it bounced off of his glove and over the fence. A couple hits later and another run was around to score, giving Arizona St. a 2-1 lead.

A home run then led off the Sun Devils' sixth and Ruiz followed that with his second of the game and Arizona St. were holding a 4-1 lead. They were well on their way to victory, especially considering the way the Bruins were leaving men on base left and right.

In the eighth inning, UCLA finally broke through and got a run across, putting a real scare into the Sun Devils. Amaral singled, stole second and took third, allowing him to score on Keefer's sacrifice fly. Chris Keck then doubled in Trevor Brown and Arizona St.'s lead was just 4-3 with the tying run at second base, but despite giving ASU a run, the Sun Devils held on to win the first of two games on the day.

The Arizona St. win put the pressure on the Bruins not to drop the opening Pac-12 series of the year at home. Their 12-game win streak was done, but they could still put the cap on a 3-1 weak and most importantly, a conference series win over the nation's 11th ranked team.

When UCLA left a pair on base in the first, it looked like the second game would go a lot like the first for the Bruins, but they broke through in the second. Filia-Snyder walked, Pat Valaika singled and Kevin Williams walked to load the bases before Amaral singled to score a run. A wild pitch then brought a second run home before Tyler Heineman's groundout scored Williams and the Bruins were up 3-0.

A couple Bruin singles without a run across in the third looked really bad in the fourth when the Sun Devils plated a pair to cut UCLA's lead to 3-2. It was a pair of walks that got Watson into trouble as they were followed by a double, which scored one, and a ground out, which scored another, to get ASU their two runs.

The Bruins left two more on base in the fourth and fifth, but they did finally get one across in the sixth. Amaral led off the inning with a walk and he stole second, but interference forced him back to first. It wasn't a problem, though, because he stole second again and then with two outs, Gelalich singled to center, scoring Amaral and giving UCLA a two-run lead.

After Berg worked through the seventh, Deeter got into trouble in the eighth. A walk and hit by pitch started the inning and then a double steal put two in scoring position with nobody out the the three, four and five batters in the Sun Devils' lineup coming up. That's when Deeter buckled down, getting a strikeout, pop up and fly out to get out of the frame unscathed.

Griggs came on for the ninth and after a few rough outings, there were more than a few people who weren't exactly comfortable with him trying to hold a two-run lead, but the junior made them look silly. He struck out the first two batters he faced then got a ground out to end the game and wrap up the key series win for the Bruins.