March 16, 2013
Los Angeles, Calif. - The 11th-ranked UCLA Baseball team (14-3, 2-0) kicked off Pac-12 play with two wins over the Washington Huskies today. The Bruins won the first game, 3-2, in 15 innings on a walkoff single by Christoph Bono while Nick Vander Tuig threw a complete game shutout in game two to give UCLA a 5-0 win.
The first game started at 1 p.m. in the bottom of the fourth after it had been suspended from the previous night due to fog. With the Bruins down 2-0 to start the day, Cody Poteet took over for Adam Plutko, pitching 3.1 scoreless innings to keep the game close. Then in the eighth inning, Brenton Allen started a rally with a double down the right field line. An error by the right fielder allowed Allen to move to the third, and after a walk to Cody Regis, Allen scored on a passed ball to cut the lead to 2-1. Two batters later, Eric Filia brought home Regis after grounding into a fielder's choice, tying the game at 2-2 going to the ninth.
In the tenth inning, the Bruins loaded the bases with two outs, but were unable to plate any runs and the game went to the 11th still deadlocked at 2-2. It was Washington's turn to threaten in the top of the 12th, when sophomore David Berg put the first two batters of the inning on base. However, UCLA's defense picked him up, starting with a great diving snag in foul territory by Shane Zeile on a bunt attempt, and then Pat Gallagher making a diving stop on the next at-bat to prevent any runs from scoring.
After Berg threw four scoreless innings in relief, the game moved to the top of the 15th, where the Huskies looked to threaten again. After Washington put runners on first and third with nobody out, freshman left-hander Hunter Virant came in to pitch and struck Andrew Ely for the first out of the inning. Virant hit the next batter, but got Erik Forgione to pop up to second for out number two. Freshman Jake Ehret then relieved Virant and struck out the next batter to escape the jam.
The Bruins finally found the winning run in the bottom half of the inning, when Kevin Kramer led off with a single up the middle, eventually finding his way to third on two wild pitches. After back-to-back walks and a fielder's choice, Bono came to the plate and smashed a single to center, bringing in Kramer and giving the Bruins a 3-2 walkoff victory.
Ehret earned the win in his first collegiate appearance, throwing a third of an inning and striking out the only batter he faced. At the plate, Brian Carroll led UCLA with a 2-5 day while Allen, Regis and Pat Valaika each scored a run.
45 minutes after the conclusion of the first game, the two teams took the field for their originally scheduled Saturday game, which began at 6 p.m. UCLA got off to a fast start in this one, putting two runs on the board in the first inning. Carroll led off with a single to right, followed by a Kramer walk. Filia attempted to drop down a sacrifice bunt, but the throw from Washington's third baseman went wild, allowing Carroll to score. Sophomore Chris Keck then brought home Kramer with an RBI groundout to give UCLA the early 2-0 lead.
The Bruins added to their lead in the fourth inning, when Bono blasted a two-run homer to right field off of Huskie starter Austin Voth, bringing the lead up to 4-0. That would prove to be all the run support that Vander Tuig needed, as he continually set down the Washington hitters, never facing more than four batters in an inning until the ninth.
After Brett Urabe executed a great squeeze play in the seventh to bring home Filia for another run, Vander Tuig finished out the game to secure UCLA's 5-0 victory and earn his first ever complete game shutout. Overall, Vander Tuig scattered seven hits in his nine innings of work, striking out eight and walking none.
Carroll again led UCLA at the plate, going 2-4 with a run. Bono also had a big game, going 2-4 with two RBI, a run and a stolen base. Redshirt freshman Justin Hazard and Regis had two hit days as well.
UCLA and Washington (4-13, 0-2) will conclude their three-game series tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Grant Watson (3-0, 1.35 ERA) will take the mound for the Bruins.
Game Notes: UCLA's 15 inning game was the longest the Bruins have played since they went 16 innings with Oregon State back on April 10, 2010 (UCLA won that game, 3-1)...Total game time of the 15 inning game was 5:35...David Berg set a new career-high with his four innings pitched in the first game...a total of 15 pitchers were used in the 15 inning game...Bono's walkoff single was the second walkoff victory for UCLA this year, the other being Eric Filia's walkoff single against Notre Dame on March 8...Nick Vander Tuig lowered his ERA to 1.80 with his complete game victory...UCLA's streak of 17 straight games with a batter hit by a pitch came to an end in the second game...the Bruins have now won 16 consecutive games over the Huskies and clinched their seventh straight series win over Washington...UCLA's pitchers have held Washington scoreless for the last 22 innings.