The 12th-ranked UCLA Baseball team earned its first midweek win of the season on Tuesday night, defeating the Cal State Northridge Matadors, 7-1, at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Sophomore Christoph Bono led the way for the Bruins, going 2-4 with a triple, three RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Trent Chatterton followed that up with a 2-4 performance that included two RBI while junior Chris Keck also went 2-4 with two runs scored and a RBI.
On the mound, freshman Grant Dyer picked up his first collegiate victory, tossing five scoreless innings while striking out three. Junior David Berg logged his first save of the year, pitching 1.1 innings in relief without giving up a run. Calvin Copping took the loss for the Matadors, allowing one earned run in 4.1 innings pitched.
Dyer got into some trouble in the top of the second inning, putting runners on first and second with only one out. However, the young freshman battled back, striking out William Colantono and getting Nick Murphy to ground out to second to end the threat.
UCLA then took the early lead in the bottom of the second, scoring a run off of Copping. Freshman Luke Persico reached first with one out before moving over to second on a single by Bono. After the runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch by Copping, sophomore Trent Chatterton stepped up to the plate and hit a single up the middle, scoring Persico to make it 1-0.
Dyer took over from there, keeping the Matadors off the board for the next three frames. After fellow freshman Scott Burke pitched a scoreless sixth, Persico gave the Bruins an insurance run in the bottom half of the inning. With two outs and Keck on first, Persico crushed a triple to the right-center field gap to score Keck and give the Bruins a two-run lead.
Northridge was able to get a run back in the top of the eighth, starting when William Colantono led off the inning with a walk off of sophomore Jake Ehret. The next batter was pinch-hitter Nick Blaser, who was able to reach on an error by Persico at second. Two batters later, Ryan Raslowsky scored Colantono with an RBI groundout to second, cutting UCLA’s lead to 2-1. Berg then came in to relieve and Ehret and on the first pitch got Chester Pak to fly out to center, ending the threat.
UCLA would go off for five runs in the bottom half of the inning though to give the Bruins command of the ballgame. Sophomore Ty Moore led off the frame with a triple to the right-center gap, and after a Shane Zeile strikeout and an intentional walk to Pat Gallagher, Keck came up and drilled a double to left, scoring Moore to make the game 3-1 in UCLA’s favor. The Bruins would later load the bases in the inning with one out, bringing up Bono. Bono then broke the game open with a triple to left, clearing the bases and giving UCLA a 6-1 advantage.
Berg came back out and finished the game in the ninth to earn his first save of the year, giving the Bruins the six-run victory over the Matadors.
UCLA (3-1) will be back out on the field this weekend as the Bruins play host to the Cal Poly Mustangs (4-0), playing a three-game series beginning on Friday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Game Notes: UCLA extended its streak of not allowing more than three runs to opposing teams to 12 straight games dating back to last year…the Bruins have now won 19 of their last 23 midweek games and are 19-4 in their last 23 games against Big West opponents…through the first four games, UCLA’s pitchers have logged a 0.95 ERA…in his last 13 at-bats, Christoph Bono has five hits, including three doubles and a triple, and has logged five RBI…Bono’s three RBI tonight also matched a career high…David Berg increased his own school record by recording his 26th career save tonight...UCLA’s bullpen has now combined to allow just two runs in 16.2 innings pitched on the season.