Saturday, 19 March 2016 16:53

#14 UCLA Opens Pac-12 Play with Win over WSU

Written by  Official UCLA Press Release

UCLA Baseball 350LOS ANGELES – The No. 14 UCLA Bruins claimed their Pac-12 opener, defeating the Washington State Cougars, 5-2, on Friday evening at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The win marks the sixth-straight for UCLA over Washington State.

Christoph Bono (1-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI) homered and Sean Bouchard (2-for-3, 3B, R, 2 RBI) tripled to lead the UCLA offense which totaled five runs on eight hits. Overall seven different UCLA players picked up a hit in the contest.

Griffin Canning (3-1) was strong on the mound to earn the win, going eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits with five strikeouts. Ian Hamilton (0-5) garnered the loss for the Cougars after giving up five runs on eight hits over his six innings of work. Freshman Brian Gadsby (5) finished it out for UCLA, pitching a scoreless ninth for the save.

UCLA (9-7, 1-0) jumped out to an early two-run lead after picking up runs in the second and third. Bono got the Bruins started with a solo home run in the bottom of the second. Ahead 2-0 in the count, Bono crushed his first home run of the season down the right field line to lift UCLA to the one-run advantage. Then, one inning later, Brett Stephens delivered the second run for the Bruins on a sac-fly to right, giving UCLA a 2-0 lead.

Washington State (7-10, 0-1) cut the deficit in half in the top of the sixth with an RBI-single from Cameron Frost. With two down and a man on second, Frost singled up the middle to plate one and make the score, 2-1.

However, the Bruins bounced back to bring three across in the bottom half of the sixth. The big blow was provided off of the bat of Bouchard, who laced a triple into the right field corner off of the glove of a diving Cougar defender. The ball caromed away from the right fielder, allowing two runs to come in and the UCLA first baseman to reach third. Then, Bouchard came home on an error by the shortstop on the next play to give the Bruins a 5-1 edge.

Canning and the Bruins would surrender one in the seventh to cut the lead to three, but would hold the Cougars off from there. Gadsby walked a trio of Washington State runners in the final frame to load the bases with two outs; however he forced a fly out to right to strand the runners and seal the victory for UCLA.

The Bruins and Cougars play the second game of a three-game series tomorrow at 2:00pm PT at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Tickets can be purchased by visiting uclabruins.com/tickets or by calling 310-UCLA-WIN. Fans can also hear the game live at uclabruins.com.

Notes: Eric Filia has reached base in all 16 games this season…Brett Urabe has reached base in 13 consecutive games…Sean Bouchard tied a career-high with two RBI…UCLA is now 15-1 all-time when Griffin Canning takes the mound as a starter…UCLA is 5-0 this season and has claimed 39 consecutive wins, dating back to last season, when leading after six innings…UCLA Head Coach John Savage is now nine wins away from reaching 500 career head coaching victories (UCLA and UC Irvine).

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