UCLA outhit Washington St. 5-4 on Friday at Bailey-Brayton Field in Pullman, but the Cougars scored seven runs to the Bruins two and came away win in the Pac 10 series opener. Wazzu's Matt Way was sensational, giving up only two runs and striking out 10 in his complete game effort. UCLA's Gerrit Cole started off perfect, but ran into trouble in the seventh when he began to tire and saw the game get away from him before head coach John Savage made the call to the bullpen.
Both Way and Cole were cruising early in the ballgame and Cole struck out four of the first six batters he faced. Neither team found a way onto the scoreboard until the third when UCLA's Blair Dunlap hit a two out, two run homer to right field that scored Niko Gallego and put UCLA ahead 2-0.
While the Bruins jumped ahead 2-0, Cole was having no issues whatsoever as he mowed down Cougar after Cougar. In fact, no Washington St. player reached base until the fifth inning when Alex Burg ended Cole's bid for a perfect game with a home run that made the score 2-1.
The game essentially ended when Washington St. struck for six runs in the seventh inning. Way was sitting down the Bruins without breaking a sweat and if UCLA were to win, they'd have to do so on the backs of their pitchers and defense. Unfortunately, both failed them in the seventh. The inning began with a walk, the first free pass Cole had offered all night. After a ground out moved the runner to second, Burg hurt the Bruins again. This time it was only a single, but that single scored a run to tie the game at two. Cole then hit a batter and walked the next to load the bases with only one out before Savage gave him the hook. Surprisingly, Savage went with Sunday's starter Trevor Bauer, but it didn't help stop the bleeding. Bauer hit the first batter he faced to bring home a run, then allowed a double that scored two to make the score 5-2. The final batter Bauer would face hit a sacrifice fly to make the score 6-2. Brendan Lafferty came in for Bauer and induced a ground ball that should have ended the inning, but a throwing error by Casey Haerther extended the inning and allowed a run to score. Lafferty wouldn't allow another run to cross the plate, but the damage was already done as the Bruins exited the inning down 7-2.
The Bruins tried to mount a comeback in the eighth inning when they loaded the bases with two out, but Alex Weber-Shapiro watched a third strike for the third out of the inning and UCLA's day was over. Way had a one, two, three ninth inning and the Cougars improved to 11-12 on the year, while the Bruins dropped to 10-16.
Only three batters registered hits for the Bruins. Dunlap's lone hit was his two run homer, Cody Decker had a bunt single in the eighth and Gallego singled three times to lead the Bruins.
The Bruins and Cougars will play game two of the three game set tomorrow at 2:00 pm PDT with Charles Brewer taking the hill for UCLA and Chad Arnold getting the nod for Wazzu.