March 31, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY - Tyler Heineman went 3-for-3 with one double, three runs and two RBI to lead the No. 6 UCLA baseball team past Utah, 9-6, before 1,250 at Spring Mobile Ballpark on Saturday afternoon.
Heineman reached base safely in all five plate appearances, as UCLA (19-5, 6-2 Pac-12) secured a series victory for the sixth consecutive weekend and improved its road/neutral site record to 7-0.
The Bruins scored seven of their nine runs with two outs against Utah (7-18, 3-5 Pac-12), winning for the 17th time in 19 games.
UCLA claimed a 6-2 lead with a three-run sixth inning. After Utah closed the gap to 6-4 with a two-run sixth, the Bruins scored twice in the top of the seventh to lead, 8-4.
A solo home run by James Brooks in the bottom of the seventh and a run-scoring single by Brooks in the eighth reduced UCLA's lead to 8-6. Scott Griggs entered the game with runners at second and third base in the bottom of the eighth and struck out Connor Eppard to end Utah's threat.
After UCLA scored one run in the top of the ninth inning, Griggs recorded the game's final three outs to notch his conference-leading sixth save.
Heineman and Beau Amaral each logged two RBI, while Trevor Brown went 1-for-4 with a game-high three RBI. Heineman totaled one double, two singles, one walk and one hit-by-pitch in five plate appearances.
Nick Vander Tuig (3-1) earned the victory, limiting the host Utes to four runs (three earned) and nine hits in 5.2 innings as UCLA's starting pitcher.
Brock Duke (2-1) absorbed the loss as Utah's starting pitcher, surrendering three runs and five hits in five innings. Duke registered three strikeouts and issued four walks.
Brown provided the key hit in UCLA's three-run sixth inning, grounding a two-run, two-out single through the right side of the infield to score Heineman and Cody Keefer.
UCLA's two-run seventh inning featured a two-out single up the middle by Heineman, to score Cody Regis from second base. Heineman moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Keefer's two-out single to left.
The Bruins led 1-0 after the first inning, before Utah tied the game on Shaun Cooper's RBI-double in the bottom of the third. UCLA scored twice in the top of the fourth to lead, 3-1. Utah closed the margin to 3-2 with one run in the bottom of the inning.
UCLA concludes its three-game Pac-12 series against Utah on Sunday, April 1. Game time is 1 p.m. MT/12 p.m. PT. Fans can follow pitch-by-pitch action through GameTracker, available online at uclabruins.com. The Bruins will send left-hander Grant Watson to the mound. Utah will counter with right-hander Tony Vocca.
Game Notes: Saturday's game featured winds between 20-30 mph, with gusts up to 42 mph ... Eric Filia-Snyder pushed his streak to seven games ... Jeff Gelalich drew two walks and has reached base safely in all 24 games ... UCLA had baserunners in seven of nine innings (none in the third or eighth) ... the Bruins have scored 66 runs in eight Pac-12 games, averaging 8.25 runs per conference contest ... Cody Regis reached base safely in four of five plate appearances, drawing three walks before reaching first base on a fielding error (sacrifice bunt).