LOS ANGELES – UCLA closer David Berg set a NCAA record for most career appearances, helping the second-ranked Bruins earn a 3-0 shutout of Gonzaga on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Berg made his 162nd career appearance to surpass Mercer's David Teasley atop the all-time list. The record also stands as the most career relief appearances in NCAA history, also previously held by Teasley.
The win marks the sixth shutout of the season for UCLA.
Bruin starter James Kaprielian (8-4) threw 7.2 shutout innings, striking out six batters, allowing just four hits to earn the win. Gonzaga’s Andrew Sopko (7-4) allowed three runs on nine hits to garner the loss for the Bulldogs. The man of the night, Berg (10), earned the save with a one-hit shutout ninth inning.
The Bruins backed up their strong pitching with an excellent night at the plate, totaling 14 hits. The team’s 21st double-digit hit performance was propelled by Darrell Miller Jr. (3-for-4, double), Chris Keck (3-for-4, double, RBI) and Brett Stephens(3-for-5, double, RBI, two stolen bases) who each had three hits.
UCLA (32-10) used a two-out rally in the bottom of the third to capture the game’s first pair of runs. With two down, Ty Moore walked and advanced two bases on a wild pitch to the next batter, Luke Persico. With Moore in scoring position, Persico launched a double to right-center field to bring in the Bruins’ first run. UCLA then tacked on another tally as Keck followed with an RBI-single to give them the 2-0 lead.
One inning later, the Bruins added to the lead with a one-run fourth frame. Christoph Bono led-off the inning with a walk and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Stephens then doubled to left center, his eighth of the season, to put the Bruins on top by three.
Gonzaga (20-22) struggled at the plate as UCLA pitching continually owned the night. Kaprielian cruised through the first seven innings, allowing just two hits, while retiring 16 in a row in a span from the second to the seventh frame.
After allowing back-to-back hits in the eighth inning, Kaprielian was relieved by Grant Dyer, who finished off the last out of the inning to set up Berg for his record-setting appearance. Berg allowed a lead-off single, but bounced back to get a double play from the next batter he faced. Then he sealed the victory with a strikeout looking on a breaking ball over the inner-half.