Bruins Bash Their Way to 9-4 Win at Cal
BERKELEY, Calif. – Behind 19 hits on offense and a strong start from sophomore righty Max Rajcic, No. 13 UCLA evened up the series with a 9-4 win over California on Saturday afternoon at Evans Diamond.
The Bruins (26-12, 10-7 Pac-12) got production from up and down the lineup, as seven different batters collected multiple hits and all but one starter finished the game with at least one knock.
Strong performances in particular came from junior catcher Darius Perry (3-5, two doubles) and Kyle Karros (3-5, HR), who co-led the team with three RBIs apiece. Freshman shortstop Cody Schrier added two doubles in six plate appearances, and sophomore right fielder JonJon Vaughns hit a moon-shot solo home run as part of a productive sixth inning.
UCLA's 19 hits as a team were just one off a season-high, accomplished on Tuesday at UC Santa Barbara. Overall, seven of the Bruins' knocks went for extra bases.
On the mound, Rajcic turned in a quality start with three earned runs over six innings. He scattered eight hits and struck out a pair.
In a reverse script of Friday's series opener, Cal went ahead in the first inning but UCLA immediately responded and re-claimed the lead for good.
Perry had the big hit of the Bruins' go-ahead rally in the second, as he scorched a liner into the left field corner to plate a pair. The two-bagger made it 2-1 in UCLA's favor, and the Bruins would not give up the lead the rest of the contest.
Rajcic had a big part in maintaining that lead, and he pulled off his biggest escape act in the bottom of the second.
After a misread on a liner gave Cal's Cole Elvis a leadoff triple, Rajcic struck out the next batter to secure a key out and keep the runner at third. The next play saw the runner break for home on a sharp one-hopper to Karros, who made a nice play near the foul line and delivered a strike home to nail Elvis for the second out. Rajcic then induced a harmless fly ball to left-center to end the threat.
The two teams traded runs in the third, but UCLA began to pull away with a two-spot in the fifth, highlighted by a long home run to left-center from Karros that made it 5-2.
UCLA followed up with its most prolific inning of the afternoon, stringing together seven consecutive hits as part of a three-run sixth that stretched the lead to 8-2.
Vaughns opened up that streak with a mammoth home run down the right-field foul line, teeing off on a 1-0 offering for his third roundtripper of the season.
Schrier followed that up with a double into the left-center gap, and then UCLA put together five singles in a row to bring in two runs.
Just as he opened UCLA's scoring in the second, Perry doubled into the left field corner to plate a run and close the Bruins' offensive ledger in the top of the ninth.
Freshman pitchers Ethan Flanagan and Alonzo Tredwell teamed up to tackle the final three innings of the game, allowing just one run between the two of them. Tredwell inherited a two-on, no-out situation in the ninth and proceeded to retire the next three batters in order to close it out.
UCLA and Cal will decide the series with a Sunday rubber match. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. PT.