Claypool pitched like the experienced senior he is (Photo Credit: Daily Bruin)
Long Beach St. came into the 2010 season with high hopes, but their offense disappointed them in the opening weekend and on Tuesday night, UCLA's Garett Claypool made sure that things wouldn't get any better. The Bruins' senior right-hander threw seven innings in his first start of the 2010 season and allowed just one run on five hits while striking out four to earn the victory in UCLA's 10-1 win over the Dirtbags. The offense did their part too with Brett Krill's 4-5, two double, three run, two RBI performance as UCLA reached the double-digit run plateau for the fourth time in as many games this season. The Bruins are now 4-0 on the season and have outscored their opponents 50-11.
The Bruins got going early when Beau Amaral led off the game with a single, then advanced to second on a balk. The Dirtbags' freshman pitcher, throwing for the first time in his collegiate career, then balked again to give Amaral third. From there, all it took was a simple sacrifice fly by Tyler Rahmatulla to play Amaral and put the Bruins ahead, 1-0.
UCLA got another run in the third when Steve Rodriguez hit his fourth home run of the season to lead off the inning. Rodriguez, who hit two home runs in all of 2009, had only four hits on the season to this point, giving him a home run for each of his hits.
Long Beach got their only run of the game in the fourth inning when they cashed in a lead off double, but the Bruins responded in the fifth. Rodriguez started the inning with a one-out bunt single on a questionable safe call at first base when he appeared to have been out. Amaral followed that up with a single and then Blair Dunlap roped a double to left center, scoring Rodriguez. After Rahmatulla struck out, Justin Uribe reached on an error by the Dirtbags' left fielder. Instead of ending the inning, the ball dropped and Amaral and Dunalp scored to stretch the Bruins' lead to 5-1.
The bottom of the fifth inning was Claypool's best inning of work because he was forced to work out of a jam and work out of it he did. With runners at first and third with nobody out, Claypool got a huge strikeout when a fastball caught the batter looking. Claypool then faked a pick off to third and spun to pick the runner off of first for the inning's second out. The senior capped it off with another strikeout looking on a full count pitch.
Krill led off the sixth inning with one of his two doubles and was sacrificed to third by Cody Regis. Niko Gallego then lifted a fly ball to left field, plating Krill and giving the Bruins a 6-1 advantage. That wasn't the end of Krill's impact though as he led off the eighth inning with a single, stole second and then scored on Regis' single.
The Brett Krill Show wasn't quite done yet as he struck again in the ninth. After a two-out single by Uribe and the pinch-hitter Jeff Gelalich was hit by a pitch, Krill stroked his second double of the game. This one, down the right field line, allowed two runs to score. A double by Regis followed to knock home Krill and cap the scoring at 10-1.
After Claypool's magnificent seven innings, Mitchell Beacom and Dan Klein each threw a perfect inning with a strikeout apiece to put a bow on things. The Bruins will next take to the field on Friday at 6 pm PST when they return to Jackie Robinson Stadium for a game versus Vanderbilt that will feature the tantalizing pitching match-up between Gerrit Cole and Sonny Gray in game one of the Dodgertown Classic.