It wasn't a very fair fight considering Cal St. Bakersfield is a fledgling first-year program who entereed with a 9-30 record, but that didn't mean UCLA was going to take it easy on them. There was simply too much on the line for the Bruins as they looked to make a push for a regional bid and tonight, were a win away from getting above .500 for the first time since February 22. Well, the Bruins didn't take it easy on the Roadrunners as they scored early and often en route to a 15-2 victory that moved their record to 23-22.
The Bruins outhit the Roadrunners 19-5 in a game that was never very close. 10 Bruins registered a hit on the night and seven Bruins scored a run, while seven drove one in. UCLA has now won 10 of their last 13 and 13 of their last 18 contests.
Garett Claypool picked up the win for the Bruins with five shutout in which he allowed only one hit and no runs, while striking out seven Roadrunners. Claypool has now allowed just two hits and no runs in his last two starts, both wins.
Following a leadoff walk by Cody Decker in the second, Gabe Cohen got ahead in the count, 3-1, and picked out a fastball that he launched well over the right field fence for a two run homer that put UCLA up 2-0. After Chris Giovinazzo reached on an error, Niko Gallego singled to put runners on the corners and a squeeze bunt by Steve Rodriguez gave UCLA a 3-0 lead after two innings.
Gino Aielli led off the UCLA third with a solo home run, his second home run on the season, and the Bruins held a 4-0 advantage. The UCLA wouldn't hold at four for long though as Casey Haerther singled and Decker walked, which set the stage for Cohen again. This time, Cohen hit the first pitch he saw, but the result was the same as his first at-bat as the ball sailed over the fence for a home run that extended the Bruins' lead to 7-0.
In the fourth inning, the Bruins loaded the bases and a couple of two out hits. With the bases loaded, Giovinazzo smacked a double to right, plating two, then was followed by Dustin Quist, who hit a double of his own to score two more, stretching the lead to 11-0.
The scoring didn't stop though and there was another long ball to count. This time, it was Haerther who went deep, hitting one out to center that scored Aielli as well. Later in the inning, Giovinazzo picked up another RBI with a single that brought Decker home.
Ahead 14-0, the Bruins gave up a run in the sixth and eighth inning, but got one more of their own in the bottom half of the eighth to give the game its 15-2 final score.
Cohen led the Bruins with five RBI on the night on two hits, each homers, and two runs. Aielli had a career-high five hits on the evening and three runs to go with a RBI, while Haerther was 2-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs. Giovinazzo chipped in with a 2-4 performacne, two runs and three RBI to go along with Decker's 2-4 showing with four runs scored.
UCLA will return to the field on Friday was the first game of a three game set with Pac-10 foe Cal. First pitch is scheduled for 6 pm PDT and Gerrit Cole will toe the rubber for the Bruins as they look to move further above the .500 mark and closer to a regional berth.