At no point was Rob Rasmussen not in complete control of the ballgame (Photo Credit: Official Site)
The first two games of the series didn't go according to plan, but Sunday's series finale sure did on the field and went even better than could be expected in the stands. Nearly 2,000 fans, the sixth consecutive home game to top 1,000 in attendance, showed up to watch the Bruins strike early and then see a standout pitching performance lead UCLA to a 5-1 victory over Oregon in a Pac-10 showdown.
Rob Rasmussen was the star of the show and deservedly earned the win to go to 6-0 on the year. The junior threw 6.1 shutout innings and allowed just four hits while striking out six. Only once did the Ducks get a runner to third against the southpaw and never did they pick up multiple hits in an inning. Rasmussen was relieved by Erik Goeddel, who allowed a run in his only inning and after Matt Grace allowed the only batter he faced to reach base, Dan Klein entered to pick up a five out save, his seventh of the year.
Not a single UCLA batter managed more than one hit, but what they did manage was more than enough. Cody Regis' only hit was a huge one, a double with the bases loaded the plate three. Brett Krill also made his only hit count when he launched one over the left field fence for his sixth homer of the season. Tyler Rahmatulla, with a hit and a walk, was the only Bruin to reach base twice.
After making a bad habit of getting behind in games this series, UCLA flipped things around with a productive first inning for a change. Beau Amaral reached on an error to start the inning and after a balk moved him to second, a one-out bunt single by Rahmatulla put runners on the corners. Up came Dean Espy, who went the other way to single to right and score Amaral. Cody Keefer was hit by a pitch to load the bases and after another out, Regis roped a double to center to score all three runners.
The 4-0 UCLA lead became a 5-0 lead in the third when Krill got a hold of the 0-2 pitch for his home run.
With a comfortable lead in his pocket, Rasmussen went to work. He mowed through batter after batter and never wavered. He worked both sides of the plate and had the Ducks lunging all game long. After his second walk of the game, with one out in the seventh, Rasmussen exited to the appreciative applause of the Bruin faithful.
While the bullpen didn't have the same shutdown performance of Rasmussen, they were more than effective enough to secure the win. The 27-5 Bruins will now look forward to Tuesday when they host Long Beach St., who they defeated 10-1 in the season's first week.