It took UCLA a while to get going in today's game, but it sure hasn't taken them long to get going this season. The Bruins didn't break a 1-1 deadlock until the sixth inning, but nine runs in the inning carried the Bruins to a 12-2 victory over Oral Roberts at Jackie Robinson Stadium. With the win, the Bruins improved to 15-0 on the season and those 15 straight wins breaks the school-record for consecutive wins set in 1969 when that team won 14 in a row.
Trevor Bauer was nails on the mound for UCLA, tossing eight innings and allowing just one run on five hits while striking out nine to improve his record to 4-0 on the year. The sophomore's win continues his personal undefeated run as a starter as he improves to 11-0 in his collegiate career.
It was two freshmen who stepped in after long spells on the bench that led the Bruins at the plate. Trevor Brown got just his second start of the year in place of Steve Rodriguez and he took full advantage of it, going 2-5 with three runs and RBI in the contest. Jeff Gelalich got the first start of his career versus the Golden Eagles in place of Brett Krill and he too performed well, going 3-3 with a run and a RBI. Blair Dunlap and Dean Espy each chipped in with a pair of RBI and Cody Keefer scored twice. Dunlap also extended his hit streak to ten games with a pair of hits.
After their eighth scoreless first inning in 15 games, the Bruins got on the board in the second. With Brown on second and two out, Gelalich hit a slow chopper up the middle. The Oral Roberts shortstop collected it and threw to first, but not in time to get the speedy Gelalich. Brown took off from second base on contact and never slowed down, rounding third and coming around to score for the game's first run.
The Golden Eagle evened the game up just a half inning later when a walk got a man on base. A sacrifice bunt moved him to second and a wild pitch advanced him to third before scoring on a simple ground out. That left Bauer visibly upset as he walked off the mound at the end of the inning and as evidenced by his pitching the rest of the way, that anger was properly channeled.
Despite getting several runners on base, the Bruins struggled to knock any in and going into the bottom of the sixth, the game was still tied at one apiece.
In the sixth, Brown got things going with a lead off double down the left field line and Gelalich singled to put runners on the corners. A passed ball plated Brown and moved Gelalich to second, then Niko Gallego reached on a bunt singled. Dunlap followed with a single and Gelalich scored to make it a 3-1 ballgame before Beau Amaral was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Tyler Rahmatula singled to score one more run and then Justin Uribe struck out for the inning's first out.
Things got interesting after that. With the bases still loaded and UCLA leading 4-1, Keefer got ahead in the count, 3-1, but then hit a sharp grounder to short for what appeared to be a 6-4-3 double play. It was not so because just before the pitch, the third base umpire called a balk so instead of getting out of the inning down 4-1, Oral Roberts was down 5-1 and two men were still on with one out. Keefer proceeded to walk and Espy doubled to score two. The inning's scoring was capped when Brown came to the plate again and singled, scoring two more for a 10-1 scoreline.
Cody Regis, who came in for Espy after the sixth inning, added to the lead in the seventh with a RBI double before a passed ball scored another run to put UCLA ahead, 12-1.
The Golden Eagles added one more run in the ninth off of Brandon Lodge, but the game was well in hand and the Bruins were not only 12-2 winners, but 15 game winners.
The series comes to an end tomorrow at Jackie Robinson Stadium when the Bruins and Golden Eagles square off at 1 pm PST. Rob Rasmussen will bring a 1-0 record and 2.79 ERA into the contest as the Bruins' starter for the series finale.