Was the first game of UCLA's Blue-Gold World Series heavy on pitching or light on hitting? Probably a combination of the two. The seven inning game saw only one run, which came in the seventh and a total of six hits. On the bright side at the plate, the batters clearly bought into the coaches' philosophy as they crowded the plate and did anything possible to get on base. The pitch recognition was better than it was a year ago and the plate discipline was something the coaches will be happy with. The swings that the players put on the pitches? Not so great.
Dan Klein, the man the coaches hope will close, started for the Golds, who were the home team. Klein was dominant in his two innings of work, allowing nobody to teach base and registering two strikeout in the second inning. Klein ran a hard fastball in at righthanders at 89-91 mph and used it to set up his fantastic change-up, which made some batters look like fools.
Gerrit Cole got the nod for the Blue team and while his stuff was as good as it usually is (92-95 mph fastball, 83 mph slider), he had some issues with command. Because the pitchers don't throw an extraordinary amount in the fall, some wildness is to be expected, but it's not comforting. Cole hit the second batter he faced with a fastball and in his second inning, allowed a base hit. He got one out in the third before hitting his pitch count limit, totaling 2.1 innings pitches, one hit, one HBP and no runs.
Erik Goeddel relieved Klein for the Golds and had some issues with control, hitting one and walking another in the third inning, but was able to get out of the jam with a fantastic breaking ball. He then threw a perfect fourth inning.
Trevor Bauer took the ball from Cole and after walking the first batter he faced, induced a 5-4-3 double play to end the third. He allowed a two-out, infield single to Justin Uribe in the fourth, but Uribe never made it to second.
With Jordan Haver on the mound in the top of the fifth, the Blues came within inches of getting on the board. Cody Keefer led off the inning with a hard line drive dingle to center and a pair of ground outs moved the freshman to third. Matt Mosher then lined a ball to right center field, but Jeff Gelalich came on in a hurry to make a diving catch, ending the inning and robbing Mosher of a RBI.
The Golds mounted their best rally in the bottom fifth inning versus Bauer thanks to a pair of freshman hits. Aaron Weimer led off the inning with a clean single to left field, then after an out, Dennis Holt laced a double to the wall in right field. With runners on second and third, Bauer brought his best stuff and got Gelalich to strike out, then Niko Gallego to ground softly to third.
Haver threw a perfect sixth inning and Bauer did the same in the bottom half of the inning, setting up Marc Navarro to get the game's first run. With one out in the top of the seventh, Navarro laced a pitch from Haver deep to right center and over the fence for a solo homer to put the Blues up, 1-0.
Mitchell Beacom came in for the bottom of the seventh and threw a perfect inning to pick up the save in the Blues' 1-0 win.
Game two of the Blue- Gold World Series will take place at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Wednesday. First pitch is at 3:30 pm PST and I will be there to recap it and provide instant information and analysis on my UCLA baseball twitter.