Just two days ago, Arizona St. finished off a dominating series sweep of UCLA. With that in the past, the question of "how UCLA will rebound and finish out the season" became the hot topic. Well, if Tuesday was any indication, the Bruins aren't going to roll over and give up. They still left runners on base and there was an error, but the Bruins still out-hit Pepperdine 15-4 on Tuesday afternoon in Malibu en route to a deserved 5-1 win. With the win, the Bruins improved to 31-10 on the year and 9-2 away from home.
Once Garett Claypool got past the first pitch of the game, he was nails. A lead off home run got Pepperdine going, but Claypool buckled down after that and picked up the win to improve to 7-0. Claypool struck out five in 6.1 innings, allowed just one and scattered three hits to lower his ERA to 2.02 on the campaign. Erik Goeddel relieved the senior right-hander with 1.2 smooth, scoreless innings and Dan Klein had little issue finishing things up in the ninth.
There are two ways to look at the offensive performance. Either the 14 hits are encouraging or the 12 men left on base, including at least one per inning, is another disappointment. Either way, the offense did enough to win the ballgame. Beau Amaral led the way, reaching base in all five at-bats with a 3-3, one walk, one hit by pitch performance that included a run scored. The UCLA shortstops produced as started Niko Gallego went 2-3 with two RBI and a run scored, while substitute Adrian Williams singled and walked in his two plate appearances. Cody Regis went 3-4 with a run scored as well and Trevor Brown went 2-5 with a RBI.
Versus Arizona St., the Bruins fell behind in the first inning twice and never led past the fourth inning. On Tuesday, UCLA found themselves trailing in the early going again. The very first pitch that Claypool threw was turned on a ripped over the right field fence for a home run that put Pepperdine up, 1-0.
After leaving a runner on in each of the first three innings, the Bruins finally broke through in the fourth and it all came with two outs. After the first two batters of the inning were retired, Gallego and Regis singled to get things going. Then, Brown singled home Gallego and Steve Rodriguez singled to score Regis and give UCLA a 2-1 advantage.
An inning later, the Bruins stretched their lead some more and unlike in the fourth, it didn't take two outs to start the rally. A lead off double by Amaral was quickly cashed in by Brett Krill, who singled to center to score Amaral. A double by Chris Giovinazzo followed and the Bruins had runners at second and third. After a strikeout, Gallego laced one back up the middle for a single, scoring Krill and Giovinazzo for a 5-1 UCLA lead.
The Bruins left two runners on in both the sixth and seventh, but it mattered not. After allowing the home run to start the game, Claypool allowed just one more hit through six innings. After allowing a one-out double in the seventh, Claypool was pulled and Goeddel entered to strike out the first two batters he saw and end the frame.
In all reality, Goeddel's seventh inning shut down ended the game too as the Bruin bullpen locked down the Waves for a 5-1 victory in advance of a Pac-10 road series at Washington this weekend.