Make no mistake about it. Last night's victory over LBSU is a pretty big deal for UCLA baseball.
For a while now it has been pretty apparent to us that Coach Savage may be putting together sometime special in his rebuilding effort with UCLA baseball program. Yesterday it became official.
Bruins just didn't beat any program. They beat one of the premiere baseball programs in America on their own field after dropping two games against them earlier in the season. And through this weekend Bruins were dominant with their pitching effort.
Unlike the bullsh!t we often here coming out of the mouths of our mediocre football staff, it means something when Coach Savage says last night was a "big step":
"This is a big step," Coach John Savage said. "We were 8-14 and going nowhere, but we just took off. I think it took a while for this team to get some identity."
Murphy walked two batters and gave up three runs and two hits in the first inning, but blanked the 49ers for the last six. He finished with an eight-hitter, walking four and striking out eight.
He followed a two-hitter Saturday by teammate Gavin Brooks and a near-complete game Friday by Tyson Brummett. Murphy got the final out on Friday, meaning the Bruins won three games and used only three pitchers in doing so.
"It's something I haven't seen in my 15 years as a coach," Savage said. "You can't say enough about their endurance. They stayed strong and kept us in every game. What they were able to do for us this weekend was outstanding."
Once again it was a total team effort for Savage's surging program. While Murphy found his composure on the mound after a rocky start, Jermaine Curtis once again sparked an offensive rally which was boosted by contributions from up and down the Bruin lineup:
Gabe Cohen, the freshman outfielder from El Camino Real High of Woodland Hills, put the Bruins ahead for good with a two-run double in the fifth. The drive to center extended Cohen's hitting streak to a team season-high 12 games.
The Bruins (33-26) added to their cushion in the sixth with an RBI single by Cody Decker in another rally started by a Curtis hit.
Curtis, Alden Carrithers, Justin Uribe and Brady Dolan each finished with multiple hits for UCLA.
The run support was more than enough for Bruins sophomore left-hander Tim Murphy (5-4), who posted UCLA's second consecutive complete game. Of the eight hits he allowed, just three were after the third inning. Murphy retired 10 in a row at one point and finished with eight strikeouts.
"It was a hard-fought game," Bruins coach John Savage said. "We started off rough again. Murph really struggled early then he found his composure and started throwing strikes. ... It was a great win for our program."
They will probably be underdogs going up against another perennial West Coast (and national) power this weekend against Cal State Fullerton. Once again I urge everyone reading BN who live in Southern California to head out to Orange County this weekend to watch our guys. It should be obvious to everyone bleeding blue and gold that Coach Savage may be putting together a special UCLA baseball program. So let's go out there and support them and cheer them on to hopefully more landmark wins.