May 26, 2013
Stanford, Calif. - The eighth-ranked UCLA Baseball team ended the regular season on a high note, defeating the Stanford Cardinal, 6-4, on Sunday afternoon at Sunken Diamond. Junior Pat Gallagher led the Bruins with a career-high four hits while also recording a RBI and a run scored.
Sophomore Grant Watson earned the win for the Bruins, pitching five innings and allowing three runs on seven hits to improve to 7-3 on the year. Dean McArdle suffered the loss for the Cardinal, lasting only 1.2 innings while giving up four runs on five hits and three walks. Sophomore David Berg closed the door in the ninth to earn his 18th save of the season, extending his single-season school record.
The Bruins struck early in the top of the first, starting when sophomore Kevin Kramer singled to left with one out. Sophomore Eric Filia singled in the next at-bat before junior Pat Valaika drew a walk to load the bases. Two batters later, sophomore Shane Zeile hit a single to shortstop, bringing in Kramer and giving UCLA an early 1-0 lead. The lead would be short-lived though, as Stanford scored three in the bottom of the first. After the first two runners reached base, Brian Ragira hit into a 4-6-3 double play that allowed Justin Ringo to score, tying the game at 1-1. Three batters later with runners at first and second, Alex Blandino put the Cardinal ahead with a single to right-center that scored Austin Wilson. Lonnie Kauppila singled to third in the next at-bat to bring home Danny Diekroeger, giving Stanford a 3-1 lead.
UCLA fought back in the top of the second, erasing Stanford's lead with with a three-run inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Valaika stepped in and was able to draw his second walk of the game, scoring Gallagher and making it 3-2 Stanford. Junior Kevin Williams drew another bases loaded walk to tie the game at 3-3, but on the ball four McArdle threw a wild pitch that allowed Kramer to come around to score, putting the Bruins on top 4-3.
Watson settled in after his rough first inning, keeping the Cardinal off the board for the next four innings and retiring 13 of the 15 batters he faced in that time frame. The Bruins then added two more runs in the top of the seventh to bring their lead up to three. Williams and Zeile led off the inning with back-to-back walks, bringing sophomore Chris Keck to the plate. Keck grounded one to third, and after Blandino got Williams at the bag he threw the ball away in his attempt to get Keck at first. Zeile came all the way around from first to score on the error to make it 5-3 UCLA while Keck advanced to third. Gallagher then stepped in and laced a single to right, scoring Keck to give the Bruins a 6-3 lead.
UCLA took its 6-3 lead to the ninth, where Berg entered looking for another save. Blandino would homer off of Berg in the ninth, but that would be all and the Bruins went on to take the 6-4 victory.
Zeile had a solid day at the plate for UCLA, going 2-4 with a run and a RBI. Keck and Carroll each added a hit and a run as well while Kramer went 1-4 with two runs scored.
UCLA will now await NCAA selection as ESPNU airs the NCAA Division I Baseball Selection Show at 9 a.m. PT on Monday morning. The Bruins were selected as a NCAA Regional host earlier in the evening, marking the fourth consecutive year that UCLA will host a Regional.
Game Notes: UCLA ended the regular season with a 39-17 record...the Bruins finished in third place in the Pac-12 with a 21-9 conference record, marking the eighth consecutive year that they have finished in the top three in the Pac-12, the only team to do so...Oregon State won the 2013 Pac-12 Championship outright by virtue of Oregon's 10-3 loss at Utah today...UCLA has not been swept in a weekend series since 2010 (Arizona State, April 30-May 2)...the Bruins' 21 conference wins ties a school record for most wins in conference play, matching the 21 Pac-10 wins by the 1986 team...David Berg's consecutive scoreless innings streak ended at 37 with Alex Blandino's ninth-inning solo home run...Cody Poteet, James Kaprielian and Zack Weiss combined to throw three shutout innings in relief while retiring all nine of the batters they faced...UCLA improved to 26-6 when it scores first in a ballgame...the Bruins also improved their record in Pac-12 road games to 40-17 since 2010.