March 3, 2013
Los Angeles, Calif. - The No. 12 UCLA Baseball team picked up the series sweep over Wright State on Sunday, defeating the Raiders by a score of 10-2. Sophomore Grant Watson earned the win after allowing zero earned runs in seven innings while junior Pat Valaika matched a career-high with four RBI.
Robby Sexton took the loss for the Raiders after lasting just 2.1 innings and giving up six earned runs.
The Bruins got ahead of Wright State early, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first after Kevin Kramer doubled home Eric Filia and Valaika hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Kramer. Then in the bottom of the third, UCLA opened up a big lead with five runs in the inning. With the bases loaded, Valaika and junior Pat Gallagher drew back-to-back walks to score two runs and give the Bruins a four-run lead. Two batters later, freshman Ty Moore cleared the bases with a triple to right-center to make the game 7-0 in favor of UCLA.
That would be all the run support that Watson needed, as he allowed just five base runners in his seven innings of work, one of which reached on an error. The Raiders could only muster one unearned run off Watson, which came in the fourth inning off of a throwing error that allowed Wright State first baseman Jeff Limbaugh to score, cutting the lead to 7-1.
UCLA would tack on another run in the fifth though, when Gallagher crushed a 2-1 pitch to right-center for a solo home run, pushing the lead back up to 8-1. The Bruins got two more runs in the sixth after Valaika doubled in a pair of runners to make the game 10-1. Wright State would get one more run back in the top of the ninth, but that would be all they would get as the Bruins went on to earn the 10-2 victory and a sweep over the Raiders.
A total of eight UCLA hitters recorded at least one hit in the game, led by Valaika's 1-3 effort with four RBI. Moore went 1-2 with three RBI and a walk while Gallagher posted a 1-2 day with two runs and two RBI. Junior Brian Carroll and Kramer each had a multi-run day as well, scoring two and three runs respectively. Finally, junior Ryan Deeter, freshman Hunter Virant and junior Zack Weiss closed out the final two innings on the mound for the Bruins.
UCLA (8-2) will now travel south to take on Southern California rivals Long Beach State (6-6) on Tuesday, March 5 at 6:00 p.m. at Long Beach State's Blair Field.
Game Notes: The seven innings that Grant Watson pitched was a new career-long for the sophomore left-hander... Watson now leads the Bruins with a 1.37 ERA in 19.2 innings pitched...Watson also improved to 10-1 as a starter in his career with a 3.26 ERA...this was UCLA's first home series sweep since the Bruins swept rivals USC in a three-game set from May 25-27 in 2012...with Kevin Kramer and Eric Filia each stealing a base, the Bruins have now stolen at least two bases in each of the last three games and are now 16-22 in stolen base attempts on the season (72% success rate)...UCLA has had a batter get hit by a pitch in all 10 of its games and has had at least two batters get by a pitch in nine of its 10 games...14 of the 20 runs that the Bruins scored in the series came with two outs.