Sophomore Ty Moore hit a walkoff two-run single in the bottom of the 10th to give UCLA a series-clinching 8-7 victory over Washington State at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Junior David Berg earned the win with 3.1 innings in relief while Ian Hamilton suffered the loss after allowing three runs in 1.2 innings. Tanner Chleborad started the game for Washington State, allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings pitched. Sophomore Cody Poteet started the game for the Bruins, giving up five runs on six hits in 2.1 innings of work.
Washington State went on top in the top of the first with a pair of runs off of Poteet. With runners on first and second and two outs, Ben Roberts stepped in and doubled down the right field line, scoring both runners to make it 2-0 Cougars. The Bruins threatened in the bottom half of the inning by loading the bases with two outs. Senior Kevin Williams then came to bat and hit a hard grounder back up the middle. The ball deflected off Chleborad though and went straight to the second baseman, who threw out Williams at first to end the inning.
The Cougars would add to their lead in the top of third with three more runs. Yale Rosen, Nick Tanielu and Roberts hit back-to-back-to-back singles to load the bases with one out. P.J. Jones then came up and hit a single to right to score Rosen, chasing Poteet from the game and giving Washington State a 3-0 lead. Freshman Grant Dyer then came in and allowed a bases loaded walk to Ian Sagdal to make it 4-0 before pinch-hitter Wes Leow grounded out to short to bring home Jones, giving the Cougars a five-run lead.
Chleborad made that lead hold up for the Cougars, keeping UCLA off the board for the next three innings. Then in the bottom of the sixth, the Bruins got back in the ballgame via a three-run home run from Williams. After Moore reached on a fielder’s choice and freshman Luke Persico singled to right, Williams came to the plate and sent one over the fence in right for his second homer of the year, cutting Washington State’s lead to 5-3.
Washington State would add a run in the top of the seventh though to bring its lead up to three. After Tanielu led off by getting hit by pitch and stole second, Jones singled to right to bring him home and make it 6-3 Cougars. UCLA again threatened in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases on three singles by senior Pat Gallagher, sophomore Christoph Bono and junior Shane Zeile. However, a 6-4-3 double play on the next at-bat ended the inning.
The Bruins would not go down quietly though and tied things up in the bottom of the eighth. After loading the bases with two outs, senior Brian Carroll legged out an infield single to cut Washington State’s lead to two. Bono then laced a double down the right field line to score a pair, tying the game at 6-6. Neither side could score in the ninth and the game went into extra innings.
Washington State would take the lead back though in the top of the 10th. With a runner on second, Jason Monda pinch-hit and hit a single up the middle off of Berg, scoring Ian Sagdal to give the Cougars a one-run advantage.
Yet again UCLA fought back, finding the winning runs in the bottom of the 10th. Senior Aaron Weimer led off the frame with a single before Carroll got hit by a pitch. After a sacrifice moved the runners up and Zeile was intentionally walked, Moore came up and ripped a single down the right field line, scoring two and handing UCLA the 8-7 walkoff win.
Zeile led the Bruins at the plate with a 4-5 game while Williams and Moore recorded three RBI and two RBI respectively.
UCLA (14-8, 5-1 Pac-12) will continue its homestand this Tuesday as the Bruins welcome in the Long Beach State Dirtbags (11-11). First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. out at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Game Notes: David Berg made his 119th career appearance in today’s game, tying the school record set by Bill Wenrick (1984-87)…Berg has also now won 11 consecutive decisions dating back to his freshman year and improved his career record to 14-3…UCLA has won its last seven extra-inning games dating back to last year…this was UCLA’s second walk-off win of the season, the other coming on Feb. 16 against Portland…Zeile’s four hits matched a career-high...UCLA and Washington State combined to use 10 pitchers in today’s game and combined for 28 hits…today’s game time of 4:04 was the longest game of the year for the Bruins.