Some days you are the victim of an incredible performance and on Saturday afternoon, UCLA played the role of victim. Oregon St.'s Josh Osich was very nearly perfect as he no-hit the Bruins in front of 1,221 fans to clinch the series win for the visitors in scintillating fashion. Only one Bruin reached base all game as Osich walked one and struck out 13 in the first no-hitter against UCLA since 1994. Now UCLA sits at 22-16 overall and 10-7 in the Pac-10, needing a win over the Beavers on Sunday to avoid being swept for the first time this season.
The way that Trevor Bauer has pitched this season, it takes an amazing performance to beat the Bruins when he is on the mound. Well, Osich turned in that amazing performance and then some to beat Bauer on a day that he was very good again. Bauer struck out 15 to give him at least 10 strike outs in 10 of his 11 starts this season and he went all nine innings for his fourth consecutive complete game. The junior allowed just two runs on the afternoon on four hits, but Osich was better and Bauer's streak of seven consecutive wins came to an end.
There wasn't much to speak about at the plate for UCLA. Dean Espy's walk was the only non-zero in the box score for the Bruins and it wasn't as if they were close to getting many hits either. They hit very few balls hard as Osich was every bit as dominant and the no-hitter label would indicate. The Bruins just had nothing on Osich and Beau Amaral saw his 14 game hitting streak ended by the Beavers' left-hander as he joined the rest of his teammates with the o-fer.
From the very start, the game was a strike out fest. Bauer struck out two in the first inning and Osich matched him. Bauer struck out two more in the second and Osich bettered him with three of his own. By the end of the fifth inning, Bauer was sitting on 11 strike outs and Osich on eight. Bauer had allowed a hit and a walk, while another reached on an error, but a fourth inning walk was also Osich had surrendered and that's all he would surrender.
Oregon St. made their breakthrough in the sixth and got what would prove to be the difference in the ballgame as they got the job done with two strikes. A one-out walk on a full count put a man on base and with two strikes and two outs, the Beavers got a single that would put men on the corners. Bauer came back by getting the next batter in a 0-2 count, but he couldn't put him away. The 0-2 pitch was driven towards right-center and as Amaral gave chase, the ball kept tailing away from him before reaching the wall. It fell for a double that scored a pair and Oregon St. was ahead 2-0.
Staked to a 2-0 lead, Osich just kept pitching the way he had all game. He mowed down Bruin after Bruin before facing his 28th batter of the ballgame. Fittingly, that Bruin went down on strikes as Osich completed the no-no and received a deserved standing ovation from both sets of fans for his incredible afternoon on the Jackie Robinson Stadium mound.