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Chris Keck (Photo by Don Liebig)
No. 21 UCLA Baseball Takes Down Loyola Marymount, 5-3
By: UCLA Athletics

The 21st-ranked UCLA Baseball team stayed undefeated on the road on Tuesday night, defeating the Loyola Marymount Lions by a score of 5-3 at Page Stadium on the LMU campus.

Freshman Grant Dyer earned the victory for the Bruins to move to 4-2 on the year, pitching 5.2 innings and allowing two runs on nine hits, striking out two. The loss went to Tim Peabody, who tossed an inning in relief for Loyola Marymount while giving up two runs on two hits and walking two. Junior David Berg picked up his eighth save of the year 1.2 shutout innings in relief.

UCLA jumped out to the early lead in the top of the first with a run off of Loyola Marymount starter Brenton Arriaga. With one out, sophomore Christoph Bono doubled to left-center before moving to third on a fly out. Then with two outs, sophomore Ty Moore singled through the right side to bring him home, making it 1-0 Bruins.

The Lions came back in the bottom half of the inning though with a run of their own. With two outs and David Fletcher on third, Tanner Donnels hit a single to left-center off of Dyer to score Fletcher and tie the game at 1-1. In the top of the third, Loyola Marymount took the lead as Donnels again hit a RBI single with two outs, this time scoring Austin Miller with a single to left to give the Lions a 2-1 lead.

In the top of the fourth, the Bruins went looking for the tying run as they got the first two runners on base in the form of Moore and freshman Luke Persico. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners up to second and third, but a strikeout and a fly out ended the threat and the deficit stayed at one. UCLA would find that tying run in the top of the fifth though. After junior Chris Keck singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, Bono came to bat and laced his second double of the night down the left field line, scoring Keck and tying the game at 2-2.

An inning later the Bruins would take back the lead with two in their half of the sixth. With one out, freshman Kort Peterson walked and sophomore Justin Hazard singled to center to put runners on first and third. Sophomore Trent Chatterton walked to load the bases and on the next at-bat Keck singled to right, scoring Peterson and giving UCLA a one-run lead. The next hitter was senior Brian Carroll, who hit a sacrifice fly to left to bring home Hazard and make the score UCLA 4, Loyola Marymount 2.

UCLA tacked on another run in the top of seventh, as Peterson singled in Persico from second after Persico reached on an error, giving UCLA a 5-2 lead. The Lions would get one back in the bottom of the eighth off of freshman Nick Kern as Donnels logged his third RBI of the night with a single to center that scored Fletcher to cut the Bruin lead to 5-3. However, Berg came in to relieve Kern and got back-to-back groundouts to keep UCLA’s lead at two. Berg then struck out the side in the ninth to seal the Bruin victory.

Bono and Keck each led the Bruins with two hits, a run and a RBI on the night while Moore added two hits of his own and a RBI. Persico, Peterson and Hazard each scored a run for UCLA as well.

UCLA (17-10) will play a three-game series this weekend against Long Beach State (13-14) starting on Friday, April 4 and concluding on Sunday, April 6. Friday and Sunday’s games will be played at Blair Field in Long Beach at 6 p.m. and 1 p.m. respectively while Saturday’s game will be played at Jackie Robinson Stadium at 2 p.m.

Game Notes: UCLA has now won 16 consecutive games away from Jackie Robinson Stadium dating back to last season…in his last three starts, Grant Dyer is 3-0 with a 1.48 ERA, 10 strikeouts and just three walks in 18.2 innings pitched…the Bruins have now won 22 of their last 28 midweek games dating back to 2012…UCLA improved to 40-9 and 26-5 since the start of the 2013 season when they score first and when they score in the first inning respectively…this was the third time this season that Christoph Bono has hit two doubles in one game and he now has a total of 10 doubles on the year…the Bruins laid down two successful sacrifice bunts tonight and now have 18 sacrifice bunts in the last seven games…with its two hit batsmen tonight, UCLA now has had a batter get hit by a pitch in seven straight games and has had a total 19 batters get hit by a pitch in those seven games…Max Schuh has not allowed an earned run in his last nine relief appearances. 

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