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UCLA Continues Rivalry Dominance With 6-1 Win Over USC

The Bruins made it five straight wins over the Trojans and 20 in their last 25 games against their rivals with a 6-1 win on Sunday.

Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

There is no doubt who the best college baseball program in Los Angeles is. UCLA has dominated USC for almost a decade now, and that's been especially true of late, when the Bruins have won four straight and 19 of their last 24 against the Trojans as they have taken the local crown and run with it.

Make that five straight and 20 of 25 of their last 25 against their rivals.

Spurred by another splendid start by Grant Watson, UCLA did what has become the norm of late -- they beat USC. Kevin Kramer chipped in with three RBI to back Grant Watson's seven innings of one-run ball as the Bruins took down the Trojans 6-1 to improve to 11-3 on the year.

UCLA for on the board in the first inning, which was a relief for a team that has struggled offensively and was shut out on Saturday. Brian Carroll led off the first with a single then took second on a sacrifice bunt. The speedy junior then continued to flash the aggressive baserunning that has become his hallmark this season by attempting to steal third. The throw beat him to the bag and the tag was applied, but Carroll's slide knocked the ball free and as it rolled away he was able to come around to score for the 1-0 UCLA lead.

One run appeared to be all Watson would need. He was great from the very start and sat the Trojans down in order in the first. A throwing error allowed the leadoff man to reach in the second, but Watson picked him off and after four innings, he had a faced the minimum number of matters.

A leadoff single broke up Watson's no-hitter in the fifth, but he induced a 3-6-3 double play next and had still faced the minimum. It looked like nobody would touch the southpaw.

But in the sixth inning, someone finally touched up Watson. Vahn Bozoian turned on a 0-1 pitch a crushed it out to left field for a solo home run to tie the game at 1-1. It looked like Watson's great outing might go for naught and a no decision was looming.

UCLA came alive in the bottom of the sixth, though, and made sure Watson would get the win he deserved. USC's star freshman Kyle Twomey left after five innings and the Bruins feasted on the bullpen. Ty Moore led off the sixth with an infield single before Trent Chatterton walked and Carroll was hit by a pitch to load the bags for Kramer. The sophomore took two balls before lacing one down the first base line and into the corner. All three base runners came around to score and the Bruins were back in front, 4-1.

Staked to a three-run lead, Watson went out in the seventh and sat the Trojans down 1-2-3 to bring his day to a close. He would be followed by Zack Weiss, who tossed an easy eighth before Pat Valaika and Shane Zeile added RBI doubles to make it a 6-1 game. David Berg then worked the ninth to wrap things up and UCLA had yet another win over USC.

Notes: Watson picked up the win to improve to 3-0 on the season. He now has a 1.37 ERA on the season and has allowed just 15 hits and walked just two in 26.2 innings ... Valaika and Pat Gallagher each had two hits and Caroll scored two runs ... UCLA's 10 hits were the most they have had in a game since totaling 11 against UCSB on February 26.