April 13, 2013
Los Angeles, Calif. - The No. 17 UCLA Baseball team got 6.2 strong innings on the mound from junior Nick Vander Tuig and another shutout effort from its bullpen to earn a 3-1 victory over Loyola Marymount on Saturday afternoon.
Vander Tuig won his fifth game of the season after surrendering just four hits in 6.2 innings pitched, allowing one run and striking out five. He also walked just one batter in his 6.2 innings of work. Aaron Griffin took the loss for the Lions after giving up three runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings. For the second straight game, sophomore David Berg pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his eighth save of the season.
After a scoreless first two innings, the Bruins broke through in the bottom of the third to grab the early lead. With two outs, sophomore Eric Filia singled through the left side and advanced to second on a wild pitch in the next at-bat. Sophomore Kevin Kramer then singled to center to bring home Filia, making it 1-0 UCLA.
The Lions tied it up in the top of the fourth though, as Tommy Cheek singled in Matt Lowenstein from third to even the game at 1-1. Eventually Loyola Marymount loaded the bases with two outs in the inning, but Vander Tuig hung tough and got David Edwards to ground out to first to end the threat.
UCLA continued to wear down Griffin and in the bottom of the sixth, jumped back ahead with a two-run frame. After a walk to Kramer, Griffin threw a wild pitch with junior Pat Valaika at the plate to move Kramer to second. On the very next pitch, Valaika ripped a double down the left field line, scoring Kramer and putting the Bruins on top, 2-1. Two batters later, junior Pat Gallagher singled to center to score Valaika, giving UCLA a 3-1 advantage.
The Bruin bullpen took over from there, as freshman James Kaprielian, junior Zack Weiss and Berg combined to throw 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. Berg came in in the ninth and pitched a 1-2-3 inning to shut down the Lions and seal the win for UCLA.
Overall, Filia led the Bruins at the plate by going 2-4 with a double and a run scored. Kramer and Valaika each recorded a hit, a run and a RBI while junior Brenton Allen went 1-2 with a stolen base, the first in his career. Finally, senior Cody Regis, sophomore Chris Keck and Gallagher each added a hit in the game.
The Bruins (22-9) will wrap up their series with Loyola Marymount (17-17) tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Before the game, UCLA will celebrate the legacy of Jackie Robinson with pre-game festivities that will include the unveiling of a Jackie Robinson mural at the ballpark and promotions surrounding the new movie 42.
Game Notes: UCLA's pitchers have combined to allow just two runs in their last 27.1 innings pitched...Eric Filia recorded his eighth multi-hit game of the season and has now reached base safely in his last 11 games...Pat Valaika had five assists in the field today, extending his streak without an error to 21 straight games...Nick Vander Tuig has now pitched at least six innings in eight of his nine starts this season...Vander Tuig also lowered his ERA to 2.09 on the year after allowing one run in 6.2 innings...the Bruins improved to 17-2 when they score first and 20-2 when they score three runs or more in a ballgame.