June 3, 2011
LOS ANGELES --- USF sophomore Kyle Zimmer threw a complete game shutout in front of a near capacity crowd to give the Dons a 3-0 win against No. 12 UCLA on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
This is the first time in school history that the Dons (32-23) beat the Bruins (33-23), who are the regional host and No. 1 seed in the Los Angeles Regional. USF also beat the regional host during its first NCAA Tournament appearance, having beat Nebraska in 2006.
It was the first complete game of Zimmer's career after he gave up just four hits with 11 strikeouts, which was his second-highest strikeout total of the season. The right-hander retired 11 consecutive batters after giving up a hit to the second batter he faced. He went on to sit down 14 batters in a row after giving up a single in the fifth inning.
Zimmer allowed just two base runners though eight innings and did not yield a walk.
"He was around the plate all night long," USF coach Nino Giarratano said. "That was one of the best pitching performances I've ever seen from a sophomore in a setting like this."
While Zimmer (6-4) paced the Dons on the mound, junior Nik Balog set the tone at the plate. The junior turned in his first four-hit game of the season going a perfect 4-for-4 with two RBIs.
USF totaled 11 hits, all of which came off UCLA starter Gerrit Cole, who most people consider the favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft next week. Cole (6-8) gave up three runs on 11 hits -- a season-high -- with 11 strikeouts and one walk.
The Dons posted their first run of the game in the top of the third inning. Pete Lavin led off the inning with a single into center and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Connor Bernatz. Yarrow hit a ball off the end of his bat that acted like a bunt and Cole had trouble fielding it to put runners on the corners with just one out. Balog singled to left field to score Lavin.
In the fifth inning, Bernatz singled to center and moved to second on a wild pitch. He scored off a Balog hit up the middle that got past the Bruins' second baseman.
USF added its final run in the eighth after Matt Chavez doubled off the right center field wall. Agate came in to run for him. Agate moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Ted LeMasters and Adam Clear notched an RBI single in a pinch-hitting appearance to right to score Agate.
Every spot in the top five of the batting order registered a hit.
UC Irvine beat Fresno State 12-6 in the first regional game of the day after putting up five runs in the top of the first inning. The Dons will face UC Irvine at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 4 at Jackie Robinson Stadium.