LOS ANGELES – The No. 9 UCLA Bruins recorded a season-high 19 hits and topped the Utah Utes, 14-2, on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Tonight marks the 10th time this season that the Bruins have reached double-digit hits as a team.
Junior James Kaprielian (5-1) allowed five hits and one run, while striking out seven batters, to earn his fifth win for UCLA. Utah's Bret Helton (1-3) lasted just 1.1 innings, allowing seven runs, to garner the loss.
Six UCLA batters finished with multi-hit performances, led by shortstop Kevin Kramer (4-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI), designated hitter Brett Stephens (3-for-6, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI) and left fielder Ty Moore (3-for-6, 2B, 3B, R, 2 RBI). In total, the Bruins finished with nine extra base hits (six doubles, two triples and a home run).
Utah (7-13, 2-2) scored the game's first run in the opening frame when the lead-off hitter, Kody Davis, came home on an errant throw by Darrell Miller Jr. to third.
However, UCLA (15-5, 3-1) responded in a big way by putting six runs on the board in the bottom half. The Bruins brought 11 players to the plate and totaled five hits in the frame. After Kramer led the game off with a single into left field, Stephens belted his first-career home run over the right field fence to give UCLA the quick 2-1 advantage. Then, after Persico and Moore singled, Peterson drew a walk to load the bases for the 'red-hot' Trent Chatterton. The junior second baseman proceeded to lace a double down into the right field corner, plating all three runs, to extend the Bruin lead to five. A wild pitch would eventually push the sixth run across and give UCLA a 6-1 lead after one inning.
In the second inning, the Bruins added another run on consecutive extra-base hits. With one out, Chris Keck lined a double into the left center field gap. Moore then followed with his first triple of the season to bring Keck into score.
Stephens delivered his third run batted in of the night, in the fifth inning, on a hard-hit double to left center. With two outs and Chatterton on second, Stephens connected on a 1-1 pitch to give the Bruins an 8-1 edge after five.
The Bruins continued their offensive outburst with another six-run inning in the bottom of the eighth. Ten batters came to the plate, recording six hits, including three of the extra-base variety, in the frame. The inning was highlighted by a two-RBI triple by Christoph Bono and a two-RBI double by Keck.
Leading 14-1 entering the final inning, the Bruins conceded a solo home run to Taylor Cole with one out in the ninth. However, the lone run did not affect the final outcome which saw the Bruins earn their 15th victory of the season.
Game two of the weekend series between UCLA and Utah will begin 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 listen to all 56 UCLA baseball games live by tuning in at uclabruins.com.
Notes: The Bruins' 19 hits tonight are the most hits in a single game for UCLA since April 14, 2012 (20 hits at Arizona). James Kaprielian has not conceded an earned run in two consecutive starts, spanning 13.2 innings. Tonight marked Darrell Miller Jr.'s (2-for-4) first-career multi-hit game. UCLA is hitting .314 in Pac-12 Conference play, led by Kevin Kramer (.688) and Trent Chatterton (.556).