Trevor Bauer broke yet another school record (Photo Credit: Scott Wu)
Trevor Bauer doesn't need eight runs of support to win a game. He certainly doesn't need eight runs in a single inning, but thats what the UCLA offense gave him. They erupted for the big inning and after the abysmal offensive performance they put on Friday night while dropping the series opener, it was a welcome sight for the blue and gold. Of course, Bauer on the mound is a welcome sight as well and he showed why by throwing his sixth consecutive complete game in UCLA's 10-1 win that pushed them to 28-19 on the year.
At some point Bauer's dominance will become expected and Bruin fans will become jaded. Or maybe not because if that were the case then it would have happened by now. The junior allowed one run on eight hits in his nine innings as he improved to 10-2 on the year. The nation's strikeout leader also punched out 13, giving him 167 on the season. Those 167 strikeouts sets a new UCLA record for strikeouts in a season, besting the old record of 165 that he set last season.
Saturday's game was the first time all season that the Bruins hit two home runs in one game. The first game courtesy of Cody Regis, who hit his team-leading fourth home run as part of a 2-5, three RBI effort. Cody Keefer added the second home run, his first of the year, as he reached base in all five of his at-bats with three hits, two walks and a pair of runs scored to go along with it. Steve Rodriguez added three hits, a run scored and a RBI of his own in a game where six Bruins had multiple hits.
After totaling just two hits on Friday night, there was legitimate concern about where the UCLA offense had gone. Things looked better in the second inning when the Bruins picked up a pair of hits, but Pat Valaika's inability to get a squeeze bunt down and a strikeout ended that inning without a run in.
Any anger about that second inning went away in the third though. Jeff Gelalich reached on an error to start the inning then Beau Amaral doubled to put two men in scoring position. Dean Espy broke the deadlock with a single to left that scored Gelalich to bring Regis to the plate. The sophomore jumped on a 1-1 pitch and launched it way out to right field for a three-run home run and UCLA was up 4-0. The Bruins wouldn't stop there though. Consecutive walks put two on then Rodriguez laid down a perfect bunt to load up the bases. With one out, Marc Navarro pinch-hit and singled into left center, scoring two and stretching the Bruin lead to 6-0. The Bruins had batted around and a sacrifice fly by Gelalich scored another run before Amaral topped it all off with a RBI double to finish off an eight-run frame.
Cal St. Bakersfield got their offense going on Friday night by swinging early in the count while the Bruins showed patience - too much patience - in taking strikes. On Saturday UCLA was swinging early, hitting early in the count in the third inning and then doing it again in the fourth when Keefer jumped on the first pitch he saw and put it over the centerfield fence for a solo blast. Chris Giovinazzo followed that up with a triple then Rodriguez hit the first pitch of his at-bat through the right side for a RBI single and the Bruins were ahead 10-0.
From there all the Bruins had to do was watch Bauer. The Roadrunners got to him once in the fifth, appropriately by striking out. Bauer struck out the man at the plate, but he did so on a wild pitch that allowed the batter to take first on a dropped third strike and the runner from third to come in and score.
It didn't matter though. Bauer was on cruise control. He struck out two in each of the last three inning as he coasted to victory and yet another school record.