It was four in the first two innings. Then there was a stretch of seven straight at one point. It finished with 15 total. Gerrit Cole was absolutely dominant in striking out Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders, giving them no chance and sitting down half of the 30 batters he faced by way of strikeout. The sophomore was clicking on all cylinders and set a career-high in punch outs with 15, a number no UCLA pitcher has reached since David Huff did in 2006. Meanwhile, the offense was clicking as well, totaling 17 hits in the Bruins' 11-3 victory that ran their record to 11-0 on the year.
Cole sat down his 15 in 7.2 innings of five hit, two run (one earned) ball to earn his fourth win of the season in as many starts. He was assisted by Tyler Rahmatulla's big game as the sophomore went 3-5 with two runs, two RBI and the first home run of his career. Justin Uribe and Brett Krill chipped in with identical 2-5, two RBI, one run games, while Steve Rodriguez, Cody Keefer and Chris Giovinazzo each registered two hits.
Things got going in the first inning for the Bruins when Niko Gallego singled up the middle with one out. Rahmatulla followed that up with a home run to centerfield to give UCLA a 2-0 lead. After Cole sat the Islanders down in the bottom of the first, it gave the Bruins' a 17-0 advantage in first innings this season.
A home run was part of the equation the next time the Bruins scored, this time a solo home run by Blair Dunlap to lead off the third inning. Gallego followed with a walk and then a bunt single by Rahmatulla moved Gallego to second. When Krill singled through the left side, Gallego came around to score and the Bruins were ahead, 4-0.
The fourth inning began with consecutive singles by Giovinazzo and Rodriguez. Giovinazzo stole third next so when Dunlap hit into a double play, Giovinazzo was able to score for a five-run Bruin advantage.
A&M Corpus Christi got an unearned run off of Cole in the bottom of the fourth, but UCLA put the game to bed in the fifth inning. Rahmatulla led off the inning with a single and stole second so when Krill singled, Rahmatulla came around to score. Keefer singled and then Dean Espy walked, loading the bases with nobody out. Uribe brought two home with a single to right for a 8-1 lead then a balk scored Espy to stretch the UCLA lead to 9-1.
The Bruins put another run on the scoreboard in the eighth when Rodriguez doubled and scored on a pair of wild pitches, but the Islanders got that run back in the bottom half of the inning.
Dennis Holt singled in the ninth to plate Uribe and then Scott Griggs entered in the bottom of the ninth to finish out the game with his first inning of work in the freshman's career.
UCLA will continue play in the Whataburger Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas on Saturday at 3 pm PST when they take on Mississippi St. Trevor Bauer will be on the hill for the Bruins against the Bulldogs in their search for win number 12 on the year.