April 10, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Grant Watson earned his team-leading seventh win, allowing two runs and four hits through six innings, to lead the No. 17 UCLA baseball team past No. 12 Cal State Fullerton, 4-2, at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Tuesday night.
Watson (7-1) finished with three strikeouts and two walks after having faced the minimum 12 batters through the first four innings in the non-conference game.
The Bruins scored one run in the first inning and added three in the bottom of the fourth secure a 4-0 cushion.
Cal State Fullerton (21-11) sliced UCLA's lead in half with a two-run fifth inning, stranding runners at second and third base to end the frame.
Koby Gauna (3-3) absorbed the loss for Cal State Fullerton, surrendering four runs (two earned) and five hits in 3.1 innings as the starting pitcher. He struck out two batters and walked one.
Three UCLA relievers combined for three hitless innings after Watson exited the ballgame. David Berg pitched in the seventh inning, Ryan Deeter recorded three consecutive outs in the eighth, and Scott Griggs collected his conference-leading eighth save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Watson improved his record as a midweek starting pitcher to 4-0, as the Bruins have won each of their five non-conference midweek contests.
Amaral led off UCLA's first inning with a single, moved to third base on Heineman's base-hit to left field and scored on a double-play groundout hit by Cody Keefer.
In the fourth inning, Trevor Brown drew a leadoff walk and stole second base, before scoring on a throwing error by Cal State Fullerton third baseman Matt Chapman. Pat Valaika scored Brown from second with a triple into the left field corner. A sacrifice fly to left field by Cody Regis plated Valaika for the third run of the inning.
The visiting Titans loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fifth. Anthony Hutting grounded a run-scoring single through the right side of the infield, before Chad Wallach lifted a run-scoring sacrifice fly to right field. Watson induced an inning-ending pop-up on the infield by Anthony Trajano to escape the threat.
UCLA returns to action at No. 4 Arizona (23-9, 9-3 Pac-12) with a three-game series beginning Friday, April 13. Game time at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Ariz., is 6 p.m. Fans can listen live to an audio broadcast of each game, free of charge, at uclabruins.com this weekend.
Game Notes: Beau Amaral extended his hitting streak to 15 games - the Bruins' center fielder had a 15-game hitting streak during his freshman season (2010) and as a sophomore (2011) ... Tyler Heineman pushed his hitting streak to 11 games, raising his batting average to a team-leading .412 mark ... Heineman leads the Pac-12 Conference with a .516 on-base percentage ... four UCLA pitchers combined to limit Cal State Fullerton to four hits, the fewest hits allowed by the Bruins in a game since surrendering four hits in a 4-2 win over Arizona State in the second game of a doubleheader on March 18 ... Tuesday night's game marked the first meeting between UCLA and Cal State Fullerton since former three-year Bruins' assistant coach Rick Vanderhook was named the head coach at Cal State Fullerton last summer.