The UCLA Bruins baseball team (35-11; 17-5 PAC 12) grabbed the season opener last night at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, crushing the Arizona State Sun Devils (29-16; 14-8 PAC 12) by the score of 9-0. With the win, the Bruins increased their lead in the PAC 12 Conference to three games over ASU and just$c*.
The Bruins pounded out sixteen hits against Sun Devil pitchers, with each Bruin batter getting at least one hit. UCLA was led by Chris Keck, who went 3-5 with a double and a home run, three runs scored, and an RBI. Brett Stephens, Kort Peterson, and Kevin Kramer also had multiple hit performances. With a 4-0 lead through five innings, the Bruins exploded with a four run sixth inning, extending the lead to 8-0, aided by the Sun Devils committing three errors in that frame. One of the errors was on a Kevin Kramer single; the ball skipped under the right fielder’s glove, allowing the speedy Kramer to come all the way around the horn to score.
James Kaprielian was masterful, pitching seven scoreless innings and scattering five hits, to raise his record to 9-4. This was a huge game for Kap, and he will be called upon again and again to deliver down the stretch and in postseason play. Grant Dyer pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Dave Berg tossed a scoreless ninth inning. No ASU runner ever reached third base during the game.
Tonight the Bruins seek the series win. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m. PT. After such a dominating performance against top-notch competition, UCLA is hoping to avoid a letdown tonight. The pitching matchup will feature two lefties, with junior, Grant Watson (7-4, 1.90 ERA), taking the hill for the Bruins, and junior, Ryan Kellogg (7-1, 3.76 ERA), starting for the Sun Devils. The Sun Devils will also start a lefty tomorrow night, so it will be interesting to see how UCLA Head Coach, John Savage, handles his lineup, which is replete with left-handed batters, in these next two games.
The game is not televised, but you can pick up ASU’s online streaming video here. The ASU announcers are awful so, if you prefer, you can listen to John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm via streaming online audio.
This is your UCLA v. Arizona State Game 2 Open Thread. C’mon, Bruins, let’s lock up the series tonight!