BERKELEY - UCLA's Christopher Bono hit a two-out RBI double off of Cal reliever Trevor Hildenberger in the top of the ninth inning to lead the Bruins to a 3-2 victory over the Golden Bears Friday night (March 14) at Evans Diamond. It was the Pac-12 opener for Cal (10-6, 0-1) and defending national champion UCLA (10-7, 1-0).
The Bears had tied the contest, 2-2, in the bottom of the seventh inning when junior third baseman Chris Paul doubled off of Bruin starter James Kaprielian (3-2, 8.0 innings, seven hits, two runs, no walks, five strikeouts) and scored on junior second baseman Brenden Farney's single down the left field line.
UCLA relief ace David Berg picked up his fourth save of the season by geting Cal out 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Bears had scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning with senior left fielder Vince Bruno had a one-out single and later scored on sophomore first baseman Nick Halamandaris's grounder up the middle.
The Bruins came back with a run in the third inning when Bono had his first double of the game off of Cal freshman right-hander Daulton Jefferies (4.1 innings, five hits, two runs, one walk, one strikeout) and scored on Shane Zeile's RBI single.
UCLA took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning when Brian Carroll scored on Ty Moore's RBI single off of Jefferies.
Hildenberger suffered his first loss of the season after picking up four saves in the first 15 games of the season. He gave up an unearned run as Trent Chatterton reach base to start the ninth inning on a fielding error by Cal shortstop Mike Reuvekamp. Chatterton was then sacrificed to second base and scored on Bono's double to left center field.
Reuvekamp was a top hitter for the Bears, going 2-for-3 with a double in the second inning.
Cal will host the second game of the three-game conference series Saturday, March 15 at 6 p.m. at Evans Diamond. Game three of the series is a 2 p.m. start on Sunday, March 16 at Evans Diamond and will be shown on the Pac-12 Networks.