April 20, 2013
Eugene, Ore. - For the second consecutive night, the Bruins shut out the 10th-ranked Oregon Ducks, 1-0, behind an outstanding pitching performance from junior Nick Vander Tuig. Vander Tuig tossed seven scoreless innings, giving up just two hits and two walks while striking out six to earn his sixth win of the year.
Sophomore David Berg was also terrific in relief, throwing 1.1 innings of shutout ball to pick up his 10th save of the year. Cole Irvin took the loss for Oregon, falling to 7-2 despite pitching all nine innings and giving up just one unearned run.
The Bruins took the early lead in the top of the first, starting when sophomore Eric Filia hit a one-out double to left center. A groundout by sophomore Kevin Kramer moved Filia over to third, and on the next play Filia scored when Oregon third baseman Mitchell Tolman committed an error that allowed junior Pat Valaika to reach first.
UCLA put together another threat in the top of the fourth, as Valaika and junior Pat Gallagher reached first and second with one out and sophomore Shane Zeile at the plate. The inning would end there though, as Zeile lined into a 3-6 double play.
Vander Tuig was tremendous through the first five innings, allowing only three base runners while striking out five as he continued to make UCLA's one-run lead hold up. In the bottom of the sixth, he got into some minor trouble as Oregon put runners on first and second with two outs and Scott Heineman at the plate. The two players battled, but Vander Tuig eventually won out, getting Heineman to fly out to right to end the inning.
Vander Tuig again got into a jam in the seventh inning, when Oregon designated hitter Tyler Baumgartner doubled to start the inning. After a sacrifice bunt moved Baumgartner to third, Josh Graham came to the plate for the Ducks, representing the go-ahead run. But Vander Tuig again escaped the inning, striking out Graham before getting J.J. Altobelli to pop up to second to keep the Bruins ahead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Vander Tuig gave way to junior Zack Weiss. Weiss got the first out of the inning, but hit Oregon second baseman Ryan Payne to put a runner on first with one out. Payne then stole second, but later in the at-bat he attempted to steal third and was gunned down by Zeile to make the crucial second out of the inning. Eventually Berg came in and retired Heineman for the final out of the inning. Then in the ninth, Berg set down the Ducks on just five pitches to secure the 1-0 win for the Bruins.
At the plate, Filia went 2-3 with a double to lead the Bruins. Valaika followed that up with a 1-4 night that included a double while Zeile, senior Cody Regis and junior Brian Carroll each added a hit in the ballgame.
UCLA (25-10, 9-5 Pac-12) will go for the series sweep over Oregon (28-10, 12-5 Pac-12) tomorrow afternoon at 12 p.m. at PK Park. Sophomore left-hander Grant Watson (5-2, 2.79 ERA) will start the finale for the Bruins.
Game Notes: UCLA's pitchers have not allowed a run in their last 26.2 innings pitched (earlier this season the Bruins went 32.2 innings without giving up a run)...David Berg also extended his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 16...UCLA has now shut out an opponent in consecutive games for the second time this year (Washington, March 16 and 17) and the sixth time overall...since 2010, the Bruins are now 66-29 on the road and 34-13 in Pac-12 road games...Nick Vander Tuig lowered his ERA to 1.87 with his seven shutout innings tonight and has now pitched at least six innings in 12 of his last 13 starts...in his last three starts, Vander Tuig is 2-1 with a 1.33 ERA and 17 strikeouts...the two hits that Vander Tuig allowed tonight are the second fewest he has given up in his career as a starter...With his single in the fifth, Cody Regis extended his career-high hitting streak to eight games...Pat Valaika extended his consecutive games without an error streak to 25 straight games...tonight's win was John Savage's 300th victory as UCLA head coach.