Saturday, 16 May 2015 15:01

Kaprielian and Berg Combine for First UCLA No-Hitter

Written by  UCLA Official Press Release

Berg D 350LOS ANGELES – James Kaprielian and David Berg combined to throw 10 no-hit innings to record what’s believed to be UCLA’s first no-hitter in school history, on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Bruins defeated Arizona, 1-0, in the 10th inning on a walk-off sacrifice-fly from Kevin Kramer to close out the magical performance.

This is also the first time Arizona has been no-hit since April 17, 1970 and the first since they joined the conference in the late 1970s.

Kaprielian pitched nine no-hit innings, recording a season-high tying 11 strikeouts and four walks, while totaling 113 pitches. The Pac-12’s strikeout leader struck out six batters over a stretch from the third to the seventh inning where he retired 14 consecutive Wildcats.

“This was an awesome experience to be a part of with my team and coaching staff,” said Kaprielian. “They had by back all night and continuously push me each week to be great. We made a good step in the right direction towards our goal of becoming Pac-12 Conference champions, but now it’s about tomorrow’s game.”

Closing out a scintillating performance by Kaprielian, David Berg (6-1) earned the win, pitching a perfect 10th inning. Arizona’s Tyger Talley (5-1) received the loss, pitching 1.1 innings in relief, surrendering the game-winning run.

Kaprielian took control early on for UCLA (38-12, 19-6) and dominated the Pac-12’s top hitting team, striking out two of the first three batters he faced in a perfect opening frame.

He followed suit with another strong second inning before getting in a bit of trouble in the third.

After a one-out walk to Justin Behnke, Kaprielian threw an attempted pick-off past Luke Persico at first base, allowing Behnke to advance all the way to third. However, the Bruin right-hander responded to get Scott Kingery to pop-out and Kevin Newman to fly-out to end the potential threat.

Following the final two outs of the third inning, Kaprielian then went on a tear, retiring 12 consecutive batters, striking out six, from the fourth to the seventh inning.

Meanwhile, the Bruins were struggling to garner any offense. UCLA was able to get a runner to third base in the second, third and fifth innings, but went 0-9 with runners in scoring position through the first seven frames.

Arizona (28-21, 12-16), clearly struggling to get to Kaprielian, attempted to manufacture the game’s first run in the eighth inning. Tyler Krause led off with a walk and was advanced to second on a sacrifice-bunt. Then, following a second walk, this time to Zach Gibbons, another sacrifice-bunt ensued, advancing the runners to second and third. However, Kaprielian once again shut the door by striking out Kingery with a high fastball to stymy the Wildcats.

Following a scoreless ninth from both sides, Berg took over for Kaprielian in the tenth only to pick-up right where James left off. UCLA’s senior closer set the Wildcats down in order, while striking out one, to keep the no-hitter alive.

Then, the game finally came to its conclusion in the bottom of the tenth inning. Christoph Bono walked to lead off the frame and Brett Stephens followed with a one-out single to put runners on the corners. Kevin Kramer then stepped to the plate and did his job with a deep fly ball to center field, scoring Bono, to seal the no-hit, walk-off victory, 1-0.

The Bruins and Wildcats will be back in action tomorrow, May 16, at 4:00pm PT. The game will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks and fans can also access live audio at uclabruins.com.

Notes: The no –hitter is the first in recorded history for UCLA (since 1946). This is the second no-hitter in the Pac-12 this season, with Oregon State’s Drew Rasmussen throwing a perfect game on March 21. Kaprielian has thrown 23.2 consecutive scoreless innings, not allowing a run in his last three starts. Kaprielian drops his season ERA below two, to 1.94. Kaprielian also pushed his strikeout total to 105 for the season, the second consecutive season over 100 strikeouts for him.

 

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