It was strange to think that when the UCLA Bruins won the 2013 National Championship that it was the first time the school had taken home the crown in baseball.
Well, entering Friday, it was also strange to think that a program like UCLA had never thrown a no-hitter before.
Once again, the Bruins have changed that forever.
It wasn’t easy for UCLA to accomplish the feat either, as the Arizona Wildcats took them to ten innings thanks to nine innings of shutout ball from Cody Hamlin and Tyger Talley.
James Kaprielian, UCLA’s highly-touted starter, a guy that’s sure to go in the first round of this year’s MLB Draft, walked four batters in nine innings of no-hit baseball.
The Bruins had a chance to give Kaprielian the outright no-hitter in the bottom of the ninth, but failed to get a run across against Arizona’s Talley.
This forced head coach John Savage to pull his starter for the tenth inning, opting for star closer David Berg. Kaprielian had thrown 114 pitches, 72 of them for strikes.
Berg had no problem going 1-2-3 in the top of the 10th, preserving the no-hitter for an extra inning.
Talley then crumbled under the pressure for Arizona, allowing runners on the corners with one out. That brought up Kevin Kramer, who skied a Talley pitch out to centerfield, deep enough to bring home the run from third and end the game.
A walk-off no-hitter. Not too common, and probably a lot less improbable for a program’s first-ever no-no.
HISTORY! UCLA pitches what's believed to be its 1st-ever no-hitter, a combined one fr. James Kaprielian & David Berg! pic.twitter.com/gkB3nax869
— UCLA Athletics (@UCLAAthletics) May 16, 2015
It was the first time Arizona had been no-hit since 1970, when the New Mexico Lobos achieved the feat against the Wildcats.
Arizona wasn’t without a highlight in this one though, as shortstop Kevin Newman had a pop up bounce off his head, but somehow find the glove of left fielder Jared Oliva.
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) May 16, 2015
UCLA has put themselves three games clear of the rest of the Pac-12 with just five conference games remaining for most teams. The Bruins are sure to be a regional host when the tournament field is announced next week, and will likely have the chance to host Super Regionals as a national seed as well.
Who knows, maybe this will be a season full of memorable moments for UCLA.