The UCLA Baseball team opened its series with Stanford in style on Friday night, earning a 7-2 victory over the Cardinal at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Sophomore James Kaprielian (6-4) earned the win, allowing just one run on five hits in 6.2 innings pitched while striking out 10. Cal Quantrill (3-5) took the loss, surrendering six runs on eight hits in five innings of work. Freshman Nick Kern picked up his third save of the season with 1.1 scoreless innings of relief.
Stanford took the early lead in the top of the first as they scraped across a run off of Kaprielian. After getting the first two outs, Kaprielian gave up a walk and a single to bring up Austin Slater. Slater would go on to double to left field, scoring Alex Blandino to give the Cardinal a 1-0 lead.
The lead would be short-lived though as the Bruins went off for six runs in the bottom of the inning. Sophomore Ty Moore and junior Shane Zeile started the rally by hitting back-to-back singles with one out, bringing up senior Kevin Williams. Williams came through with a single to right, scoring Moore to even the game at 1-1. Then with runners on second and third, freshman Luke Persico ripped a triple to center field to bring home Zeile and Williams, giving the lead to the Bruins at 3-1. Two batters later, Persico came in to score on a double by sophomore Trent Chatterton to make it 4-1, UCLA.
After a walk to senior Pat Gallagher put runners at first and second, senior Aaron Weimer came through, singling to left to score Chatterton to give UCLA a four-run lead. Having batted around, the Bruins sent senior Brian Carroll up for the second time in the inning and he scored UCLA’s sixth run of the inning with a single to center, plating Gallagher to make it 6-1, Bruins.
That would be more than enough run support for Kaprielian, who settled in and kept the Cardinal off the board for the next five innings. After a scoreless seventh inning, Stanford got a run back in the top of the eighth off of junior Max Schuh. With runners on first and third with two outs, Zach Hoffpauir blooped a single to center to bring in Danny Diekroeger, cutting UCLA’s lead to 6-2. The Bruins would bring their lead back up to five though in the bottom of the eighth as freshman Brett Stephens hit a pinch-hit single with two outs to score sophomore Christoph Bono from third, making it 7-2 Bruins. Kern then closed out the game by getting the final three outs in the ninth to send UCLA home with the 7-2 win.
Gallagher led the UCLA offense, going 2-3 with a run scored. Persico added a triple, a run and two RBI of his own while Chatterton scored a run and logged a RBI as well.
UCLA (23-19-1, 10-9 Pac-12) and Stanford (19-20, 7-12 Pac-12) will continue their series tomorrow night at 7 p.m. out at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The game will be nationally televised by ESPNU.
Game Notes: James Kaprielian struck out 10 batters or more for the third time this season…Kaprielian has also now allowed two runs or less in nine of his 12 starts this season…in tonight’s game, Kaprielian allowed just three hits and no runs past the first inning…eight of UCLA’s nine starting batters recorded at least one hit in tonight’s ballgame…Jake Ehret extended his scoreless innings streak to 10.2 innings without allowing a run…Luke Persico recorded his team-high fifth triple of the season tonight…all four of Nick Kern's outs were recorded via the strikeout...this was the 25th time this season that UCLA has held the opponent to three runs or fewer…the Bruins scored six runs on seven hits in the first inning…the Bruins improved to 27-7 in the last two seasons when scoring in the first inning and 45-14-1 when scoring first overall.