James Kaprielian, David Berg combine in 10 innings for first UCLA no-hitter
LOS ANGELES -- James Kaprielian and David Berg combined to throw 10 no-hit innings to record what’s believed to be UCLA’s first no-hitter in school history, on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Bruins defeated Arizona 1-0 in the 10th inning on a walk-off sacrifice-fly from Kevin Kramer to close out the magical performance.
This is also the first time Arizona has been no-hit since April 17, 1970 and the first since they joined the conference in the late 1970s.
Kaprielian pitched nine no-hit innings, recording a season-high tying 11 strikeouts and four walks, while totaling 113 pitches. The Pac-12’s strikeout leader struck out six batters over a stretch from the third to the seventh inning where he retired 14 consecutive Wildcats.
“This was an awesome experience to be a part of with my team and coaching staff,” Kaprielian said. “They had by back all night and continuously push me each week to be great. We made a good step in the right direction towards our goal of becoming Pac-12 Conference champions, but now it’s about tomorrow’s game.”
Closing out a scintillating performance by Kaprielian, David Berg (6-1) earned the win, pitching a perfect 10th inning. Arizona’s Tyger Talley (5-1) received the loss, pitching 1.1 innings in relief, surrendering the game-winning run.
Kaprielian took control early on for UCLA (38-12, 19-6) and dominated the Pac-12’s top hitting team, striking out two of the first three batters he faced in a perfect opening frame. He followed suit with another strong second inning before getting in a bit of trouble in the third.
After a one-out walk to Justin Behnke, Kaprielian threw an attempted pick-off past Luke Persico at first base, allowing Behnke to advance all the way to third. However, the Bruin right-hander responded to get Scott Kingery to pop-out and Kevin Newman to fly-out to end the potential threat.
Following the final two outs of the third inning, Kaprielian then went on a tear, retiring 12 consecutive batters, striking out six, from the fourth to the seventh inning. Meanwhile, the Bruins were struggling to garner any offense. UCLA was able to get a runner to third base in the second, third and fifth innings, but went 0-9 with runners in scoring position through the first seven frames.
Arizona (28-21, 12-16), clearly struggling to get to Kaprielian, attempted to manufacture the game’s first run in the eighth inning. Tyler Krause led off with a walk and was advanced to second on a sacrifice-bunt. Then, following a second walk, this time to Zach Gibbons, another sacrifice-bunt ensued, advancing the runners to second and third. However, Kaprielian once again shut the door by striking out Kingery with a high fastball to stymy the Wildcats.
Following a scoreless ninth from both sides, Berg took over for Kaprielian in the tenth only to pick-up right where James left off. UCLA’s senior closer set the Wildcats down in order, while striking out one, to keep the no-hitter alive.
Then, the game finally came to its conclusion in the bottom of the tenth inning. Christoph Bono walked to lead off the frame and Brett Stephens followed with a one-out single to put runners on the corners. Kevin Kramer then stepped to the plate and did his job with a deep fly ball to center field, scoring Bono, to seal the no-hit, walk-off victory 1-0.