May 1, 2012
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Grant Watson scattered two hits in six scoreless innings to lead the No. 14 UCLA baseball team past Long Beach State, 2-1, before 1,342 at Blair Field in a non-conference game Tuesday night.
Long Beach State (21-21) stranded runners at second and third base in the bottom of the ninth inning, as UCLA's Scott Griggs recorded his team-leading 10th save, striking out the final two batters of the game.
Watson (8-1) earned his team-leading eighth victory, as the Bruins' registered their 15th consecutive non-conference win. The freshman left-hander from Bakersfield, Calif., notched three strikeouts and issued just one walk.
Trevor Brown powered UCLA (29-12) at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBI, driving in both runs for the Bruins with run-scoring hits in the fourth and eighth innings.
Long Beach State's Nick Sabo (0-5) absorbed the loss pitching in relief, allowing one run and one hit in one inning.
UCLA took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Jeff Gelalich was hit by a pitch on a two-strike count and scored from first base on a double hit to the left-center field gap by Brown.
The Bruins doubled their margin with one run in the eighth, taking advantage of three walks that inning. With two outs and runners at first and second, Brown grounded a run-scoring single up the middle, sending home Tyler Heineman.
Long Beach State answered with one run in the bottom of the eighth, slicing UCLA's cushion to 2-1. Richard Prigatano singled to left field and moved to second base on a fielder's choice. A passed ball allowed Prigatano to move to third base, before pinch-hitter Robert Vickers lifted a run-scoring sacrifice fly to left field.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Griggs issued walks to the first two batters before Brennan Metzger advanced both baserunners with a sacrifice bunt. Griggs struck out Josh Guerra and pinch-hitter Brennan Fulkerson to retire Long Beach State's ninth-inning threat and end the game.
UCLA opens a three-game series against No. 13 Purdue at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Saturday. The Bruins and Boilermakers will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday's series finale is at 1 p.m.
Game Notes: UCLA has won six of its last eight games against Long Beach State ...the Bruins have posted an 8-0 record in midweek games ... Grant Watson has gone 5-0 with a 2.87 ERA in eight midweek starts ... Watson has become the fourth pitcher in school history to have collected at least eight wins during his freshman season (record is nine, shared by Pete Janicki and Trevor Bauer) ... the Bruins have outscored their opposition, 66-20, in midweek contests ... David Berg leads the Pac-12 with 28 pitching appearances, all in relief ... Berg has become the fifth player in school history to pitch in at least 28 games during his freshman season ... Jeff Gelalich has reached base safely in UCLA's last 14 games ... Trevor Brown posted his team-leading 10th multiple-hit game ... the Bruins have gone 7-0 this season against Big West Conference opponents.