The UCLA offense is alive and well, at least for one weekend. A day after putting up seven runs to upend Washington St. in 11 innings, the Bruins came back out and knocked out 10 hits to crush the Cougars 10-1 and wrap up a series win.
Christoph Bono led the way for UCLA, going 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs, including his second home run of the season. Pat Valaika joined Bono in the long ball club in a rare power outburst for the Bruins, hitting his team-leading fourth home run of the season. Eric Filia also shined, picking up two hits and three runs, while Kevin Kramer added two hits, one RBI and one run.
All the while, Nick Vander Tuig kept his fantastic campaign going with his second complete game of the season. The junior limited Wazzu to just one run and struck out eight to pick up his third consecutive win and improve to 7-3 on the year.
Vander Tuig was helped out by an offense that had him well ahead before he even took the mound thanks to a four-run first. Filia doubled with one out to get the Bruins going and after a single by Kramer and walk by Valaika, the bases were loaded. That brought up Cody Regis, who singled to score one, then Shane Zeile also had a run scoring single and UCLA led 2-0. A Chris Keck sacrifice fly plated one more before Bono singled home another to give the Bruins a 4-0 lead before Washington St. even got an at-bat.
That first inning was just a sign of things to come for the Bruins, who did get some help they didn't need from the Cougars the following inning. Filia reached on a dropped fly ball and scampered all the way around to third, then scored on a passed ball for a gifted UCLA run. But the next run wasn't gifted at all as Valaika unloaded on a 1-1 pitch and deposited it over the left field fence for a solo home run and 6-0 lead.
Wazzu finally managed to keep UCLA off the scoreboard in the fourth, but the Bruins came right back in the fourth. Filia walked and then scored on Kramer's single to give UCLA a 7-0 lead to put a nail in the Cougars' coffin.
Bono's two-run homer in the fifth just added to Wazzu's misery, as did Brian Carroll's fielder's choice in the eighth that scored Bono. WIth the way Vander Tuig was mowing guys down, the Bruins didn't need nearly as many runs as they got, but they were happy to take them. The Cougars finally got on the scoreboard in the ninth, but their one run then was just a consolation as the Bruins cruised to a series win.
UCLA will go for the sweep on Sunday, a game they will need to get because Oregon and Oregon St. both won on Saturday. So while the Bruins are now 27-12 overall and 11-6 in the Pac-12, they remain in third place and 2.5 games back in the conference.