The 13th-ranked UCLA Baseball team rallied late, but ultimately fell short as the Bruins lost to the Pepperdine Waves on Friday night, 8-7, at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Corey Miller picked up the win to improve to 2-1 for the Waves, tossing six innings and giving up five runs on nine hits with six strikeouts. Sophomore James Kaprielian dropped to 2-2 after suffering the loss, allowing seven runs on four hits in 5.1 innings pitched. Kaprielian struck out seven as well. Eric Karch earned the save for Pepperdine.
Both pitchers were in control early on, as Kaprielian retired the first nine batters and Miller kept the Bruins scoreless through the first three frames. Then in the top of the fourth, the Waves went ahead by two when Bryan Langlois hit a two-run homer off of Kaprielian to make it 2-0 Pepperdine.
The Bruins would cut into that lead in the bottom half of the inning though. Junior Shane Zeile led off with a single to right and then came around to score from first on a double by sophomore Ty Moore to the right-center gap, making it 2-1 Waves. Sophomore Christoph Bono got hit by a pitch two batters later, putting runners on first and second with one out, but UCLA would get no more as Miller got a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.
Pepperdine then opened the game up in the top of the sixth, batting around to score five runs in the inning. After Manny Jefferson led off with a double to left, he moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jack Ross. The next hitter was Hutton Moyer, who hit a single through the right side to score Jefferson and make the score 3-1 Waves. Kaprielian eventually loaded the bases with back-to-back walks before surrendering a single to Aaron Brown, bringing Moyer home to increase Pepperdine’s lead to three. Freshman Scott Burke and junior Max Schuh then came in and gave up back-to-back bases loaded walks, bringing in two runs to give Pepperdine a 6-1 lead. A sacrifice fly by Brandon Caruso would then eventually make it 7-1 before UCLA finally got out of the inning.
UCLA kept fighting though and got themselves back in the ballgame with six runs in the bottom of the seventh. After Trent Chatterton, Chris Keck and Brian Carroll led off the inning with three straight singles, senior Kevin Williams came in to pinch-hit and knocked a single through the right side, scoring Chatterton to make it 7-2 Waves. Then with the bases still loaded, Zeile came up big, clearing the bases with a double that just narrowly missed being a grand slam, scoring three and cutting Pepperdine’s lead to two. Bono made it a one-run ballgame with a single to left that scored Zeile from third with two outs, but then he got picked off of first to end the threat.
The Waves added an insurance run in the top of ninth off of closer David Berg, as Moyer doubled in Caruso with two outs to give Pepperdine an 8-6 lead. Zeile did get a run back for the Bruins in the bottom of the inning with a solo shot to left-center, but that would be all and the comeback fell just short as UCLA fell to the Waves, 8-7.
Zeile led the UCLA offense, going 3-5 with three runs scored and four RBI. Moore, Carroll and Bono each added two hits apiece while Chatterton and Keck notched a hit and a run each.
UCLA (7-6) will continue its weekend series at home against Houston (10-2) tomorrow, taking on the Cougars at 2 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Game Notes: Shane Zeile’s three runs and four RBI are new career-highs while his three hits matched his previous career high..Zeile also logged his team-high fifth multi-hit game tonight, raising his average to .386 on the year...David Berg made his 111th career appearance out of the bullpen tonight, tying Chuck Yaeger (1981-84) for the second-most appearances in UCLA history…Brian Carroll has now reached base safely in his last nine games…with Christoph Bono’s hit by pitch in the fourth inning, UCLA has now had at least one batter get hit by a pitch in 12 of the first 13 games, bringing their season total to 21 batters hit by a pitch…Kevin Williams made his season debut tonight with his pinch-hit appearance in the seventh…UCLA and Pepperdine combined to throw 10 pitchers in tonight’s game.