April 27, 2013
Pullman, Wash. - The ninth-ranked UCLA Baseball team scored six runs in the first two innings and got a complete game from junior right-hander Nick Vander Tuig to claim a 10-1 series-clinching victory over Washington State on Saturday afternoon.
Vander Tuig picked up his third consecutive win to move to 7-3 on the year, after allowing one run on seven hits while striking out eight in his nine innings of work. He also did not walk a batter in the game to record his second complete game of the season. Tanner Chleborad took the loss for the Cougars, lasting just 3.2 innings and giving up seven runs (five earned) on eight hits while walking two.
UCLA gave Vander Tuig a nice, early cushion in the top of the first, scoring four runs off of Chleborad. Sophomore Eric Filia doubled with one out to start the rally and advanced to third in the next at-bat on a single by sophomore Kevin Kramer. Junior Pat Valaika then drew a walk to load the bases, bringing up senior Cody Regis. Regis singled to center, bringing in Filia and making it 1-0 Bruins. Sophomore Shane Zeile singled to shortstop in the next at-bat to score Kramer to make it 2-0, before sophomore Chris Keck hit a sac fly to right to score Valaika and make it 3-0. Redshirt freshman Christoph Bono then gave the Bruins a four-run advantage by singling to left to bring home Regis.
The Bruins added to their lead in the top of the second, tacking on two more runs when Filia scored from third on a passed ball and Valaika smashed his fourth homer of the year to left. Two innings later in the top of the fourth, Kramer knocked in Filia from second with a single to right to bring the Bruins' lead up to 7-0.
UCLA wasn't done scoring though, and in the top of the fifth got two more runs when Bono crushed a two-run homer to center to give the Bruins a comfortable 9-0 lead. That would be plenty for Vander Tuig, who continued to throw strikes and keep the Cougars off the base paths. Bono added a run in the top of the eighth, scoring on a fielder's choice to make it 10-0, before the Cougars got one across in the bottom of the ninth on a RBI single by Ian Sagdal to prevent the shutout. That would be all that Washington State would get though and UCLA went on to take the 10-1 win.
Bono had a career day, going 2-3 with a career-high three RBI and two runs scored. Filia had a big day for the Bruins as well, going 2-5 with two doubles and three runs. Kramer also went 2-5, scoring a run and knocking another one in. Finally, Valaika posted a 1-4 day, scoring two runs and recording a RBI.
UCLA (27-12, 11-6 Pac-12) will wrap up its series with Washington State (19-20, 6-11 Pac-12) tomorrow at 12 p.m. at Bailey-Brayton Field. Sophomore left-hander Grant Watson (5-3, 3.21 ERA) will start the finale for the Bruins.
Game Notes: UCLA improved 11-1 when it scores in the first inning...the Bruins are also now 21-3 when scoring first and 23-3 when scoring three runs or more in a ballgame...in his last three starts, Nick Vander Tuig is 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA and 19 strikeouts to just three walks...in Pac-12 play, Vander Tuig is 4-1 with a 1.44 ERA in six starts...Vander Tuig has also not allowed a run in his last 19 innings pitched and has lasted at least six innings now in 10 of his 11 starts this season...Kevin Kramer recorded his third consecutive multi-hit game and is now 11 for his last 26 (.423)...Pat Valaika has now reached base in 11 consecutive games...eight of UCLA's nine starting hitters recorded at least one RBI in the game.