Sunday, 15 May 2016 13:33

UCLA Comes from Behind to Earn Series Tying Victory over USC

Written by  Official UCLA Press Release

UCLA Baseball Walk OffLOS ANGELES – The UCLA Bruins scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to top the USC Trojans, 4-3, on Saturday evening at Jackie Robinson Stadium in front of 1,898 faithful.

Trailing the entire game, the Bruins got an RBI-single from Kort Peterson and a sacrifice-fly from Jake Pries in the penultimate inning to climb on top by one. The duo of Moises Ceja and Hunter Virant then sealed the victory with a scoreless ninth to capture the series tying win.

The Bruin offense totaled four runs on seven hits, led by Eric Filia (1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI) who notched his seventh multi-RBI game. Luke Persico (2-for-4, 2B, R) also pitched in two hits to extend his hitting streak to 15 games.

Scott Burke (2-2) threw just three pitches over a scoreless 0.2 inning to earn the win, while Hunter Virant (1) struck out the final batter of the game, the only one he faced, to get his first career save. USC starter Kyle Davis (4-8) received the loss after giving up four runs on seven hits over 7.2 innings.

USC (22-25, 11-12) opened the scoring early, getting two runs in the opening frame on Timmy Robinson’s eighth home run of the season. However, the Bruins would answer immediately in the bottom half to pull within one on a sac-fly from Filia to make the score 2-1 after one.

The Trojans regained their two-run advantage in the third when Jeremy Martinez brought a run across with a double to right center.

Filia and the Bruins would respond again to climb back within one in the bottom of the sixth. With a runner on second and one away, Filia laced a double inside the bag at third and down the line to plate Brett Stephens and drive in his second run to put the count at 3-2.

UCLA (24-24, 11-12) not only got timely hitting down the stretch, but phenomenal defense as well to lead to the win. Still trailing by one in the top of the eighth, Christoph Bono completed an inning-ending double play by making the catch in center and throwing a man out at the plate to keep the Bruins within a run.

In the bottom half, Brett Urabe led off with a walk and was joined on the base paths by Persico, who singled up the middle with one out in front of Peterson. The UCLA right fielder then ripped a single to right field to score Urabe and even the score at three. Then, after Bono was hit with a pitch to load the bases, Pries delivered the game-winning RBI with a sac-fly to right field.

Another spectacular defensive play in the ninth maintained that one-run lead and propelled UCLA to victory. With a man on second and one out, Corey Dempster singled to right field. The Trojans sent the runner home on the play, but an accurate throw from Peterson in right and a well-placed tag from Daniel Rosica thwarted the potential tying run and kept the Bruins on top. Virant then set David Oppenheim down on strikes to close out the game and give UCLA the 4-3 win.

The final game of the series between UCLA and USC begins tomorrow at 6:00pm PT at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Tickets can be purchased by visiting uclabruins.com/tickets or by calling 310-UCLA-WIN. Fans can also watch live on the Pac-12 Network or listen live at uclabruins.com.

Notes: Luke Persico extended his hit streak to 15 consecutive games…Eric Filia has reached base in 45 of 48 games this season…Hunter Virant earned his first career save…UCLA is now 11-2 in one-run games…This marks the second time this season UCLA has won when trailing after seven innings…UCLA has scored at least one run in the first inning in nine of its last 12 games…The UCLA offense has scored at least four runs in 14 of its last 17 games.

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