April 27, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 12 UCLA baseball team lost to No. 13 Stanford, 7-2, in the opening contest of a three-game Pac-12 series at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium before 1,084 on Friday night.
Stanford's Mark Appel (6-1) struck out 10 batters with no walks in seven innings. The right-hander from Houston, Texas, surrendered one run and eight hits to secure his team-leading sixth victory.
The Cardinal (27-10, 9-7 Pac-12) scored twice in the fourth inning before adding four runs in the fifth to lead, 6-0.
Stanford received two hits from Tyler Gaffney (2-for-5, two runs, one home run) and Kenny Diekroeger (2-for-4), as eight players in the Cardinal's lineup logged at least one hit.
Gaffney's solo home run to right field in the top of the fourth put Stanford ahead, 1-0. With Alex Blandino at first base, Brian Ragira lined a two-out run-scoring double to left field later that inning, putting Stanford ahead, 2-0.
Stanford's four-run fifth inning was punctuated by a three-run, two-out homer to left field from Stephen Piscotty. Earlier in the frame, Austin Wilson scored from third base on a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Cardinal added one run in the top of the sixth to lead UCLA, 7-0. Eric Smith lined a triple to the right-center field gap and scored on a single to right field by Wilson.
UCLA got on the board with one run in the bottom of the sixth. Gelalich singled to center and advanced on a fielding error by Gaffney, before Cody Regis lined a two-out run-scoring single to right field.
Pat Valaika smacked a solo home run to left field with one out in the bottom of the ninth, reducing Stanford's cushion to 7-2.
UCLA and Stanford resume their Pac-12 series at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Saturday. Game time is 2 p.m. Tickets cost $7 for adults and $5 for youth (ages 16 and under). As a show of support to local Boy and Girl Scout Troops in the greater Los Angeles area, all Boy and Girl Scouts who attend Saturday's game in uniform will earn free admission.
Game Notes: Pat Valaika extended his hitting streak to six games, going 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI ... each of Valaika's two career home runs have been hit against Stanford ... Beau Amaral has reached base safely in the Bruins' last 24 games ... Grant Watson logged four strikeouts in 2.1 innings of scoreless relief, allowing one walk and no hits ... Tyler Heineman went 1-for-4 and leads UCLA with a .400 batting average (including a team-best .446 mark in Pac-12 Conference ballgames).