UCLA avenged a tough 5-4 loss to #17 Pepperdine earlier this year with a comfortable 7-2 win in Malibu this afternoon. Freshman Trevor Bauer got the start for the Bruins, the second start of his carrer, and he threw eight innings for the Bruins to pick up the win. In eight frames Bauer struck out eight and walked one while allowing only two two runs, both on home runs.
The Bruins had their chance to score in the first when Blair Dunlap led off the game with aleadoff double, but despite being moved to third with only one out, Dunlap was left on base. After that top half of the first neither team threatened in the first three innings. The only time a player reached second base was on a sacrifice bunt that put a Wave on second with two out.
In the fourth inning, UCLA got their first hit since Dunlap's leadoff double in the first when Cody Decker hit a solo home run to right center, putting the Bruins ahead 1-0. That lead would not last long though as the Waves answered with a home run of their own on only the third pitch of their half of the fourth.
The Bruins and Waves were not to be tied for long though as UCLA went on to score in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Gabe Cohen led off the fifth inning with a solo homer, his first roundtripper of the year and was followed up by a Chris Giovinazzo triple. Two batters later Niko Gallego hit a ground ball to shortstop that allowed Giovinazzo to score and after five innings, UCLA led 3-1.
The sixth inning was UCLA's biggest scoring output of the game as they played three. The inning began just like the fifth, with a solo home run. This time it was reigning Pac 10 Player of the Week Casey Haerther who hit the shot to left field, putting UCLA up 4-1. Decker shocked the entire stadium when he followed up Herther's blast with a bunt single and Chris Amezquita singled to put runners on first and second with none out. Cohen contributed with a productive out when he grounded out to the right side, moving each runner up 90 feet. The opportunity to add to their lead looked to be getting away from the Bruins when Giovinazzo struck out for the inning's second out, but Gino Aielli hit the first pitch he saw to left field, scoring both Decker and Amezquita.
Pepperdine tried to stay in the game in the bottom of the sixth when they hit their second solo home run of the game, but the Bruins got that run back in the seventh when Amezquita singled home Dunlap. Bauer took to the mound in the bottom of the seventh ahead 7-2 and threw easily in the inning, retiring the Waves in order. Bauer got another one, two, three inning in the eighth and Gavin Brooks pitched a perfect ninth to secure the win for the Bruins.
Maybe the biggest number from the box score was the zero errors committed by the Bruins. Considering that his team has been ravaged by errors and unearned runs this season, you can bet that head coach John Savage was thrilled to have his team make zero errors for the second consecutive game.
The win over Pepperdine is UCLA's fifth in their past seven games and has upped their record to 8-13 on the season. Next on tap for the Bruins is a three game conference home set versus Arizona this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.