March 12, 2013
Northridge, Calif. - The 11th-ranked UCLA baseball team continued its midweek dominance, getting runs in the seventh and eighth innings to earn a 5-4 come-from-behind win over Cal State Northridge. The win was UCLA's 14th consecutive victory in midweek games.
Freshman right-hander Cody Poteet lasted five innings in his third collegiate start, allowing four earned runs on two hits while walking two and striking out four. Northridge starter John Salas went just four innings, giving up three runs on three hits while striking out four hitters. Junior Zack Weiss earned his first win of the year after pitching a scoreless seventh inning.
Like so many times this year, UCLA got on the board first, putting across two runs in the top of the third inning. After freshman Trent Chatterton doubled down the right field line, Kevin Kramer smashed a triple to right center, scoring Chatterton and giving UCLA the early 1-0 lead. Pat Valaika walked in the next at-bat, and then helped Kramer score by getting into a pickle between first and second. Kramer broke for home and was able to score with help from an error by Northridge catcher Alexis Mercado, increasing the Bruins' lead to 2-0.
In the bottom half of the inning, Northridge went for four runs, three of which came on a three-run home run from Miles Williams off of Poteet, bringing the score to 4-2 in Northridge's favor. UCLA got one back in the top of the fifth though, as they started the inning with a Ty Moore double and a bunt single by Chatterton. Two batters later, Kramer brought home Moore with an RBI groundout to cut the deficit to 4-3.
UCLA would tie the game in the top of the seventh, when Brian Carroll reached on an error and then stole second. Valaika then came to the plate and laid down a beautiful bunt down the third base line. Valaika beat the throw, but Northridge third baseman Michael Livingston threw the ball down the right field line, allowing Carroll to score the tying run. In the bottom half of the seventh, the Matadors had runners on first and third with two outs and Kyle Attl at the plate. He hit a grounder to the left side, but Kramer made a great diving stop and throw to get Williams and preserve the tie.
The Bruins then took back the lead in the top of the eighth, when Eric Filia scored from second on another throwing error by the Matadors, giving UCLA a one run lead. Sophomore David Berg then came on and pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings, securing his fourth save of the year and the Bruins' 12th win of the season.
Filia and Chatterton each went 2-4 on the day, scoring one run apiece. Kramer knocked in two runs to lead the Bruins in that department while Valaika went 2-2 in stolen base attempts.
UCLA (12-3) returns home this weekend to open Pac-12 play against the Washington Huskies in a three-game series from Friday, March 15 to Sunday, March 17. Game times are 6 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Game Notes: Cal State Northridge's six errors were the most an opponent has made against UCLA since March 23, 2009 when USC committed six errors vs. the Bruins...UCLA has now won the last four meetings against the Matadors...Kevin Kramer extended his streak of reaching base safely to 15 straight games...the Bruins moved to 11-1 on the year when they score first...Shane Zeile's hit by pitch in the sixth inning makes it 16 consecutive games that a UCLA batter has been hit by a pitch...Brian Carroll is now 8-8 in his last eight stolen base attempts...David Berg has appeared in 11 of UCLA's 15 games, striking out over a third of the batters he's faced (24 out of 63)...UCLA's pitchers allowed only hit to the Matadors past the third inning.