Chris Giovinazzo's solo blast was part a complete team win on Tuesday night (Photo Credit: Official Site)
Some games are true team efforts and versus UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday night, UCLA got a little bit from everyone. At the plate, eight Bruins either picked up a hit or scored a run and nobody had more than two hits, runs scored or RBI. On the mound, the Bruins went through seven pitchers and yet they kept the Gauchos scoreless into the eighth inning. Nobody committed an error for the home team either and they swiped a couple bags. The result was a 6-2 win over the Gauchos, UCLA's eighth win in their last nine games to improve to 38-11 on the season.
The Bruins got a little bit from everyone, but Chris Giovinazzo had the game's lone big blow with a solo home run as part of his 2-4, two run, one RBI evening. Blair Dunlap and Beau Amaral each went 2-4 as well, scoring a run apiece and while Dunlap had a RBI, Amaral had a pair. Tyler Rahmatulla went 1-2 with a walk, RBI and stolen base. Justin Uribe went 1-1 off of the bench with a walk and RBI, while Tyler Heineman made his first start of his career, getting the nod behind the plate.
Because it was decided and announced beforehand that Garett Claypool would only go three innings in his start, he was eligible for the win. The senior went the pre-determined three innings and did not allow a Gaucho to reach base. As a result, Claypool's record now stands at 8-2, but that was only because the bullpen held on the rest of the way. Matt Drummond and Scott Griggs each threw a scoreless inning with two strike outs in relief of Claypool, before Mitchell Beacom and Brandon Lodge combined to toss a scoreless frame. Matt Grace had no problems in his inning, but Erik Goeddel did, allowing two runs before Dan Klein struck out two in the ninth.
The very first out that the Gauchos got on the Bruins was also the first run for the home team. Dunlap led off the first with a double and an Amaral bunt single put runners on the corners. When Rahmatulla lifted one to right field for the inning's first out, Dunlap was able to tag and score for a 1-0 UCLA advantage.
After the Bruins scored in the first, they had a man thrown out trying to steal and then 12 straight batters retired. That streak was broken when Giovinazzo got ahead 3-1 in the count and parked the next pitch he saw beyong the left field fence for his third home run of the season.
Finally, in the seventh inning, UCLA got the cushion they were seeking. A lead off single by Trevor Brown and bunt single by Giovinazzo started off the frame and when Niko Gallego was hit by a pitch for the 14th time this season, the Bruins had the bases jammed with nobody out. Things got hairy when a ground ball to first was thrown home to force the runner out at the plate. Dunlap, the next batter, bailed the Bruins out with an infield single that plated a run before Amaral cracked the game open with a base knock to center that plated two. The 5-0 lead became a 6-0 lead with two outs in the inning when Uribe hit one back up the middle for a single that scored Amaral.
Goeddel had eighth inning problems, surrendering three hits, two of which were doubles and it resulted in a pair of runs. It didn't matter much though because a 6-2 lead was plenty for Klein, who slammed the door shut in the ninth for the win.