No. 23 UCLA Baseball Outlasts No. 20 Arizona, 8-5, to Win Series
April 17, 2011
LOS ANGELES - Beau Amaral went 3-for-4 with six RBI, including a game-winning three-RBI double in the eighth inning, to help the No. 23 UCLA baseball team overcome a 5-2 deficit and defeat No. 20 Arizona, 8-5, before 1,319 fans at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Sunday.
UCLA (19-12, 9-3) scored seven runs in its final four offensive innings to secure a Pac-10 series victory over the Wildcats (23-13, 5-7). The Bruins dropped a 5-4 decision on Friday night before blanking Arizona, 4-0, on Saturday. UCLA won the season series against Arizona for the sixth consecutive season.
Amaral's six RBI were the most by a Bruin since March 7, 2008, when Gabe Cohen drove in six runs in a victory over Saint Mary's. The sophomore from Huntington Beach, Calif., belted one home run and one double and scored two runs.
Right-hander Nick Vander Tuig (3-2) allowed one hit in 1.2 scoreless innings of relief to earn his third victory. Vander Tuig pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning after having entered in the eighth with the score deadlocked, 5-5.
Arizona left-hander Matt Chaffee (4-2) absorbed the loss, allowing three runs off two walks, one hit-by-pitch and the bases-clearing double to Amaral in 0.1 innings of relief.
UCLA won the series finale against the Wildcats despite committing a season-high five errors. With the ballgame tied, 1-1, after two innings, Arizona added two runs in the top of the third to lead, 3-1. The Bruins scored one run in the bottom of the fifth on a one-out RBI-single by Amaral, closing the gap to 3-2.
Arizona scored two runs with two outs in the top of the sixth, benefitting from a pair of two-out errors by UCLA.
Trailing 5-2 entering the bottom half of the fifth, the Bruins chipped away, scoring once in each of the fifth and sixth innings, twice in the seventh and three times in the eighth. UCLA reduced Arizona's cushion to 5-3 with a two-out RBI-single to center field by Steve Rodriguez in the sixth inning.
Amaral belted a two-run homer to right field with nobody out in the bottom of the seventh, tying the ballgame at 5-5.
In the bottom of the eighth, Kevin Williams drew a walk on a full count and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rodriguez. Valaika was hit by a pitch on a 2-and-1 count and Gelalich drew a walk to load the bases. Amaral connected on a 1-and-1 offering from Chaffee, slapping a line drive into the left field corner. The double allowed Williams, Valaika and Gelalich to score.
Right-hander Adam Plutko allowed five runs (two earned) and six hits in six innings, recording five strikeouts and no walks as the Bruins' starting pitcher. Arizona right-hander Tyler Hale limited UCLA to three runs (two earned) and seven hits in 5.2 innings as the Wildcats' starter.
UCLA returns to action against San Diego State on Tuesday evening. Game time at Jackie Robinson Stadium is 6 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets for just $2 as part of UCLA's ongoing "Two-Dollar Tuesday" promotion. Fans unable to attend can listen live online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com.
Game Notes: Sunday's game featured the largest deficit overcome (three runs) by a UCLA team this season ... Cody Regis extended his team-leading 12-game hitting streak, the longest for a UCLA hitter since June 2010, when Regis had a 15-game hitting streak snapped in the final game of the College World Series ... the Bruins have won each of their last four weekend series (including one series sweep), all in Pac-10 play ... UCLA remains one-half game outside first place in the Pac-10 standings (Oregon State leads the conference at 8-1).
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