UCLA Head Coach John Savage sent his ace James Kaprielian to the hill last night against Cal State Bakersfield and Kaprielian delivered.
He threw 93 pitches over 7 innings while holding the Roadrunners to 5 hits, 1 walk and 2 runs to earn the victory in the Bruins' opening game of the Los Angeles Regional at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Grant Dyer pitched a perfect 8th inning and David Berg struck out the side in the 9th to close out the game.
Bakersfield got on the board first in the second inning. Ryan Grotjohn walked with two outs for the Roadrunners. Chance Gusbeth singled to right to move Grotjohn to second and gave Bakersfield two on with two out. Catcher Logan Trowbridge singled to center to drive in Grotjohn, but Gusbeth got caught in a rundown between second and third to end the inning.
The Bruins got their offense started in the third following a Kevin Kramer double. Ty Moore's ground out to second moved Kramer over to third and a Luke Persico single drove him in to tie the score at 1-1.
UCLA proceed to score in each of the next five innings.
The Bruins played really small ball in the fourth after Kort Peterson was hit by a pitch. Trent Chatterton advanced Peterson to second with a sacrifice bunt. Cal State pitcher James Barragan fielded Chatterton's bunt but then his throw hit him in the back allowing Peterson to move to third.
Christoph Bono got in on "Buntfest 2015" with a bunt single that drove in Peterson and moved Chatterton to second.
Kevin Kramer's single through the right side scored Chatterton giving the Bruins a 3-1 lead after four innings.
Kaprielian shut down the Roadrunners until the seventh inning when he allowed another run. Meanwhile, UCLA added runs in each of their remaining at-bats to make the score 7-2 after eight innings.
If you've followed UCLA baseball this season, you know that means the game was over because once John Savage went to the bullpen, it was lights out and it was no different Friday night as neither Dyer or Berg allowed anyone from Bakersfield to reach base in the final two innings.
Kaprielian earned the win for UCLA while Barragan took the loss.
Earlier in the day, the Maryland Terrapins edged Ole Miss by a score of 3-1 at JRS. The win advances the Terps into the Winner's bracket and drops the Rebels into the Loser's bracket.
Later today, Ole Miss will take on Cal State Bakersfield in an elimination game at 4pm PT while UCLA will take on Maryland in the nightcap at approximately 8pm PT. Look for usual Saturday starter Grant Watson to take the mound for UCLA and check back later for our UCLA-Maryland preview and open thread.