Sometimes you don't have to be overly fast or strong. Sometimes, all you need is patience and smarts. That's what UCLA used to beat UC Santa Barbara at the plate, in the field and on the bases, but getting a dominating start from your starting pitcher helps too. The Bruins were thoroughly solid all the way around on Tuesday, outhitting UCSB 16-3, and their play was rewarded with a 7-1 road win over the Gauchos to push their record to 17-0 on the 2010 season.
Because UCLA has such a dominating weekend rotation that gets all of the talk, many people have forgotten about the senior who takes to the mound for the midweek games. Garett Claypool entered the game as a 1-0 record and 2.30 ERA and on Tuesday, he tacked a win onto that and saw his ERA dip too. That's because Claypool held the Gauchos to one run on three hits in seven innings while striking out 10 in the win over the Big West school.
The Bruins got things done up and down the lineup as six batters recorded multi-hit games in Santa Barbara. The top of the lineup was led by leadoff man Blair Dunlap's three hit effort with two runs scored and second hitter Beau Amaral, who went 2-3 with a run and RBI. Down at the bottom of the lineup, the eight and nine batter, Niko Gallego and Trevor Brown, each notched a RBI and Gallego also stole a bag. Tyler Rahmatulla was one of the six to record a multi-hit game, his team-leading 11th multi-hit game on the year.
The UCLA offense did well to put guys on base early in the ballgame, but couldn't push runners across. They left runners on in the first three innings, including twice in scoring position. While the Bruins couldn't knock a run in, UCSB was running themselves out of runs. In the second inning, they had two players get in a run down on the same play for outs and in the third, they had a man picked off of first.
It took until the fourth for the Bruins to get on the board and it was a lead off double by Cody Keefer that got things going. Brett Krill followed with a single so when Cody Regis doubled, Keefer scored to break the scoreless deadlock. Gallego grounded out to score Krill from third and Brown reached on an infield single to score Regis for a 3-0 UCLA advantage. The Bruins had a runner of their own thrown out when Brown was thrown out trying to score on Dunlap's triple, but single by Amaral and Justin Uribe scored two more runs to cap a five-run fourth inning.
A single by Dunlap to lead off the sixth was followed by a Rahmatulla double that moved Dunlap to third. When pinch-hitter Dean Espy grounded to second for the inning's second out, Dunlap scored easily for a 6-0 lead.
Claypool finally surrendered a run in the seventh when a lead off double and passed ball was cashed in by a ground out, cutting the UCLA lead to 7-1.
UCLA got that run back in the eighth when Rahmatulla doubled down the left line line and Keefer singled two batters later to score the sophomore from second.
Erik Goeddel relieved Claypool in the eighth and struck out two in a perfect inning of work before handing the ball to Dan Klein, who too struck out two in a perfect inning.
The 17-0 Bruins will play Cal Poly this weekend in a series with an irregular schedule. Things get underway on Thursday at 6 pm PST and will be followed by a 6 pm PST game on Friday and a 2 pm PST game on Saturday to wrap things up.