May 19, 2012
BERKELEY, Calif. - The No. 11 UCLA baseball team won its seventh consecutive game with an 8-5 victory against California on Saturday afternoon, securing a Pac-12 series victory at Evans Diamond.
UCLA (38-13, 17-9 Pac-12) has won 10 of its last 11 games, moving into second place in the Pac-12 standings. The Bruins, who logged their fifth series win over California in the last six seasons, trail first-place Oregon by 1.5 games.
Nick Vander Tuig (8-3) notched his fourth consecutive victory by limiting the Golden Bears (26-24, 7-19) to three runs and eight hits in 5.1 innings.
Matt Giovinazzo went 2-for-4 with three RBI and one run to lead UCLA's offense. Kevin Williams went 3-for-4, and Trevor Brown went 2-for-5 with two runs and one RBI as the Bruins' other two batters to record multiple hits.
Scott Griggs recorded his 14th save, striking out two batters in 1.1 hitless innings. Griggs entered in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded and two outs, striking out Mitch Delfino to end California's threat.
Chad Bunting led California at the plate, going 3-for-4 with one double, three runs and one RBI.
UCLA scored four runs in the first inning and added three in the third to claim a 7-2 cushion after three innings. The Bruins chased California left-hander Justin Jones (4-8), who was tagged with the loss after surrendering seven runs (five earned) and eight hits in 2.1 innings.
The Bruins took advantage of four two-out singles in the top of the first to lead, 4-0. Brown drove home Beau Amaral for UCLA's first run, before Shane Zeile, Kevin Kramer and Giovinazzo followed with run-scoring singles.
California sliced the Bruins' margin in half with a two-run second inning. Danny Oh had a run-scoring groundout, and Vince Bruno followed with a two-out RBI-single to center field.
UCLA extended its cushion to 7-2, scoring three times in the top of the third. Giovinazzo provided a two-run single to center field with one out, sending home Brown and Kramer. Giovinazzo scored on Amaral's sacrifice fly to right field.
The Bruins added one run in the sixth inning to lead, 8-2.
California reduced UCLA's margin to 8-5 with one run in the sixth inning and two in the eighth, before Griggs helped the Bruins end the Golden Bears' scoring threat. California took advantage of three consecutive walks in the eighth inning to score two runs before Griggs entered the game.
UCLA concludes its Pac-12 series against California on Sunday at 1 p.m. Fans can listen to a live audio broadcast online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com.
Game Notes: The Bruins improved to 19-3 (.864) on the road and at neutral sites, posting the nation's best winning percentage away from home ... UCLA has won its last five games against California at Evans Diamond ... Nick Vander Tuig has issued seven walks in his last eight starts and has pitched into the sixth inning in each of his last 12 starts ... David Berg has pitched in the Bruins' last 13 games and made his Pac-12-leading 38th appearance of the season, the third-highest total in school history (Berg is one appearance shy of UCLA's single-season record).