March 24, 2013
Los Angeles, Calif. - The 11th-ranked UCLA Baseball team (17-4, 5-1) earned the series victory over California today, taking down the Golden Bears, 10-2, in the rubber match of the series at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Sophomore Grant Watson moved to 5-0 on the year, giving up just two runs in seven innings while sophomore Eric Filia led the offense with three RBI.
Watson scattered six hits over seven innings, striking out five and walking none to improve to 5-0 on the season. He has earned wins in five of his six decisions this year. Sophomore Dylan Nelson took the loss for California, lasting just 2.2 innings and allowing four runs.
In the top of the first, California jumped out to an early lead after Andrew Knapp hit a double to left to score Devon Rodriguez, giving the Golden Bears the 1-0 advantage.
The Bruins wouldn't stay down for long though, going ahead thanks to a four-run third inning. Senior Cody Regis led off the inning with a single, eventually moving to third on a wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt by Brian Carroll. The next batter was Filia, who doubled to right center to bring home Regis. Sophomore Kevin Kramer singled in Filia on the next at-bat, giving UCLA a 2-1 lead. After Kramer was caught stealing and Pat Valaika doubled, Christoph Bono came to the plate and singled to left to score Valaika. Sophomore Shane Zeile then doubled in Bono to bring the lead to 4-1 in the Bruins' favor.
That would prove to be all the run support that Watson needed, as he kept the California offense in check, allowing only one unearned run the rest of the way. In the bottom of the six, UCLA tacked on another run as Regis singled home Kevin Williams to make the game 5-2 going to the seventh.
Neither side scored in the seventh and then in the bottom of the eighth, the Bruins opened the game up, scoring five runs to take a commanding eight-run lead. With runners on second and third and nobody out, freshman Trent Chatterton came to bat and singled to center to bring in two runs. Three batters later, Filia tripled down the right-field line with runners on first and second, scoring another two runs and increasing UCLA's lead to 9-2. Valaika eventually doubled in Filia later in the inning to make it 10-2 going to the ninth. In the ninth, David Berg came on and got a 1-2-3 inning to secure the Bruins' 17th win of the year.
Overall, Filia went 2-4 with two runs and three RBI, which ties a career-high. Regis posted a perfect 3-3 day, scoring two runs and a stolen base. Chatterton, Williams, Zeile and Valaika each recorded two hits on the afternoon as well.
The Bruins will hit the road next week as they travel to Tempe, Ariz. to face the Arizona State Sun Devils (13-7-1, 2-4 Pac-12) from Thursday, March 28 to Saturday, March 30 at Arizona State's Packard Stadium. Game times are 6:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. respectively.
Game Notes: UCLA has now won its last five Pac-12 series dating back to last year...the Bruins also improved to 16-0 when they score more than three runs in a game...for the 11th time in 21 games this season, UCLA allowed their opponent to score two runs or fewer...Grant Watson moved to 13-1 as a starter and has allowed only two earned runs in his last four starts (27 innings pitched), bringing his season ERA to 1.13...Brian Carroll's two stolen bases today bring his season total to a team-leading 16 on the year...Carroll has also successfully stolen a base in 12 of his last 13 attempts...David Berg extended his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 17 with his one inning of scoreless relief...all nine of UCLA's starters recorded at least one hit in today's game.