The UCLA Baseball team returned to conference play in style on Friday night, shutting out the Arizona Wildcats, 8-0, at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Ariz.
Sophomore James Kaprielian earned the win for the Bruins to move to 5-3 on the year while James Farris took the loss for the Wildcats to drop to 4-4. Kaprielian was dominant yet again, throwing seven scoreless innings while scattering four hits and striking out four.
The first two innings went scoreless but the Bruins went ahead in the top of the third with a run off of Farris. Junior Chris Keck led the inning off with a hit by pitch and then moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Trent Chatterton. Two batters later Keck came around to score on a RBI double by senior Brian Carroll, giving UCLA the 1-0 lead.
The Bruins then tacked on three more in the top of the fourth to give themselves a four-run lead. Junior Shane Zeile led off the inning with a double to left before moving to third on an infield single by sophomore Ty Moore. The next batter was senior Kevin Williams, who singled to right to score Zeile and make it 2-0 Bruins. Three batters later, Chatterton opened the game up with a two-out, two-run double to left, clearing the bases and spotting Kaprielian a 4-0 lead.
Kaprielian did his job on the mound, holding the Wildcats scoreless through the fifth before the Bruins added another run in the top of the sixth. With two outs, senior Pat Gallagher singled through the left side to bring up Carroll. Carroll then smacked his second double of the night to the left-center gap, scoring Gallagher and giving the Bruins a five-run cushion.
After another scoreless inning from Kaprielian, the Bruins continued to score with two runs in the top of the seventh. Moore led off with a triple and Persico walked two batters later to put runners at first and third with one out. Keck then brought home Moore with a RBI groundout to short to bring the Bruins’ lead up to six. The next batter was Chatterton, who laced a single to center to score Persico from third, making it 7-0 in UCLA’s favor. The Bruins would add one more in the top of the eighth as Zeile scored on a wild pitch with two outs and that would be more than enough as UCLA went on to defeat Arizona, 8-0.
A total of five Bruins had multi-hit games on the night, with Moore leading the way with a 3-6 effort that included two runs scored. Carroll went 2-5 with two doubles and two RBI while Zeile and Gallagher each logged two hits, with Zeile scoring two runs and Gallagher scoring one. Finally, Chatterton posted a 2-4 night with three RBI.
UCLA (19-13, 7-3 Pac-12) and Arizona (15-20, 4-9 Pac-12) will continue their three-game series tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. Tomorrow’s game will be nationally televised live by ESPNU.
Game Notes: UCLA has now won six consecutive Pac-12 games over Arizona dating back to 2012 and 10 of the last 14 meetings overall…UCLA has now had at least one batter get hit by a pitch in 12 straight games and has had a total of 58 batters get hit by a pitch on the season, the most in the Pac-12…the Bruins have also had at least two batters get hit by a pitch in 11 consecutive games…James Kaprielian has not allowed a run in his last 21 innings pitched…in his last three starts, Kaprielian is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 19 strikeouts…Shane Zeile has reached base safely in 15 of his last 16 games (including the last five) and logged a multi-hit game for the third time in his last five games…it was also Zeile’s team-leading 13th multi-hit game of the season…Trent Chatterton recorded his team-leading fifth multi-RBI game of the season tonight and his three RBI matched a career-high…nine of UCLA’s 14 hits tonight came with two outs…this was UCLA’s fifth shutout of the season.