May 26, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Cody Regis drew a four-pitch walk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead the No. 9 UCLA baseball team to a 6-5 victory over USC before 1,636 at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
UCLA (41-14, 19-10 Pac-12) overcame a 4-0 deficit by scoring three runs in the sixth inning and two in the seventh before snapping a 5-5 tie with one run in the ninth against USC (23-31, 8-21).
The victory allowed the Bruins to stay within striking distance of their second consecutive Pac-12 title. Arizona, Oregon and UCLA finished the day in a three-way tie for first place (all with 19-10 Pac-12 records) in the Pac-12 Conference. Arizona hosts Arizona State and Oregon plays at Oregon State on Sunday.
Scott Griggs (2-1) earned the victory in relief, allowing one run and two hits in the top of the ninth inning.
USC's Martin Viramontes (1-1) absorbed the loss, allowing one run off two hits and two walks.
Regis' game-winning walk helped UCLA win its 18th game in the last 23 meetings against USC, in addition to securing the season series versus the Trojans.
"Coming up to the plate, I just wanted to keep myself relaxed," Regis said. "I knew that the pressure was on him, with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning. He fell behind in the count at 2-0 and had to come in on the next pitch. Once the count got to 3-0, I was taking all the way."
UCLA's ninth inning rally began with a double to left field in front of Sean Spear's lunging effort. Jeff Gelalich reached on an intentional walk before Trevor Brown lifted a high fly ball to the left field fence. Brown's hit fell for a single, loading the bases. After Pat Valaika struck out, Regis drew the game-winning two-out walk.
Keefer had a career-high four hits, going 4-for-5 with two runs and one RBI. Brown (2-for-5) and Beau Amaral (2-for-4) were UCLA's only other hitters to record multiple hits.
After having been shut down at the plate the first five innings, UCLA trimmed USC's cushion to 4-3 with a three-run sixth inning. Gelalich provided the major hit of the inning, a two-run triple over the head of Spear in center field. Brown followed with a run-scoring groundout to score Gelalich.
In the bottom of the seventh, UCLA tied the game, 4-4, on a run-scoring fielder's choice groundout by Tyler Heineman. With two outs, Cody Keefer grounded an RBI-single into right field, scoring pinch-runner Brian Carroll.
USC scored one run in the third inning and one in the fourth to lead, 2-0, before adding a pair of runs in the fifth to claim a 4-0 advantage.
The Trojans were led at the plate by Kevin Roundtree and Brandon Garcia, who each went 2-for-4. Alex Sherrod went 1-for-1 with a solo home run and three walks.
Andrew Triggs held UCLA scoreless through the first five innings before surrendering four runs in the sixth and seventh inning. Nigel Nootbar allowed one run off one hit and two walks in one innings of relief.
UCLA and USC conclude the regular season with the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m. Tickets cost $7 for adults and $5 for youth (ages 16 and under).
Game Notes: UCLA has gone 3-0 against USC this season, and can secure its third season sweep of the Trojans in the last six seasons with a win on Sunday ... the Bruins have not lost the season series to USC since 2005 ... David Berg recorded three strikeouts in a perfect seventh inning, making his conference-leading 42nd relief appearance (UCLA's single-season record) ... Berg has pitched in each of UCLA's last 17 games ... Ryan Deeter recorded all three outs in the eighth inning for the second straight day ... Jeff Gelalich has reached base safely in each of UCLA's last 17 conference ballgames.