UCLA blanks San Diego to earn regional title, advance to super regionals
LOS ANGELES -- Grant Watson allowed one hit through seven innings to lead No. 1-seeded UCLA to a 6-0 victory against San Diego and the NCAA tournament's Los Angeles regional title on Sunday night.
The Bruins (42-17) advanced to a best-of-three super regional matchup against the winner of the Fullerton Regional beginning Friday at a location to be announced.
The only hit Watson (8-3) gave up was a fourth inning double to Austin Green. He struck out five and walked one. Zack Weiss pitched the eighth and David Berg closed out the ninth for UCLA.
Starter Max Homick lasted only one third of an inning for San Diego (37-25), giving up five hits and four runs before being pulled.
''It's always nice getting four runs in the first inning,'' Watson said. ''I felt good and I kept working at it.''
Pat Valaika had a two-run single and Pat Gallagher and Cody Regis each hit RBI singles for UCLA.
"It's a lot easier to play when you're up four," Valaika said. "We only faced 29 batters. We had a good tempo and [Sunday] was one of the biggest team wins."
Gallagher added a RBI sacrifice fly and Kevin Williams had an RBI double to extend UCLA's lead to 6-0.
"We're very excited and proud our team," UCLA coach John Savage said. "We pitched, played solid defense and quality at-bats.
"It was a good team weekend. It was a difficult regional. If you want to be talked about with the likes of Fullerton you have to go to Omaha."
The Toreros reached the game against UCLA by beating Cal Poly 8-5 earlier in day.
"For them to roll a four-spot right away was challenging for our guys," San Diego coach Rich Hill said of UCLA. "And Grant Watson was spectacular and UCLA's bullpen is the best in the nation. It rivals any in the history of college baseball."