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Bruins' Win Streak Snapped By Stanford, 8-4

Beau Amaral was one of the few Bruin standouts in the 8-4 UCLA loss (Photo Credit: Official Site)
Beau Amaral was one of the few Bruin standouts in the 8-4 UCLA loss (Photo Credit: Official Site)

The streak had to come to an end some time and on Friday night it did as Stanford defeated UCLA 8-4 at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The loss snapped UCLA's 22-game win streak to start the season and evened up the Pac-10 series at one game apiece. One big inning is what did the Bruins in, but UCLA was playing with fire all game long and it finally caught up with them in the fifth. In the end, a crowd of over 1,400 overwhelmed Jackie Robinson Stadium much like the Cardinal overwhelmed the Bruins.

Mitchell Beacom was one of the few bright spots on the night for UCLA as the left-hander pitched superbly out of the Bruins' bullpen. Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer was undone by errors and subsequent bad pitches that led to unearned runs, but make no mistake, Bauer did not have his best stuff on Friday night. Bauer went 4.2 innings, struck out just three, allowed nine hits and seven runs, although only one was earned. After Bauer exited, Beacom entered and threw 4.1 outstanding innings, striking out six and allowing just one hit, a solo home run in the ninth.

At the plate, UCLA got things done at the top of the order, but nothing more. Lead off man Blair Dunlap was 2-4 with a pair of runs scored and Beau Amaral, batting second in the lineup, went 3-4 with a RBI. After that, every other Bruin combined for just three hits, although Brett Krill did hit a home run.

The Bruins got the game off on the right foot when Dunlap doubled to lead off the first. The senior took off on an attempted steal of third and looked to have it easily, but it mattered not. The throw went well over the third baseman and into left field, which allowed Dunlap to score easily.

Bauer wasn't as sharp as he usually is, allowing hits in both the second and third innings. In the fourth, the Cardinal had runners at the corners with one out when a pitch in the dirt skidded away from the catcher, Steve Rodriguez. The runner at third took off from third, but Rodriguez gathered the ball and flipped it to Bauer, who was covering home, so Bauer could apply the tag for the out.

In the fifth inning, things fell apart for the Bruins. An error by Niko Gallego allowed the lead off man to reach base and a single followed to put runners on the corners. A passed ball scored a run and a single put runners at the corners so a ground out scored another to give Stanford a 2-1 lead. A double and triple further hurt Bauer, all with two outs, to give the Cardinal a 7-1 edge.

Bauer was pulled with two out in the fifth and Beacom relieved him to great effect, but the Bruins' offense couldn't get on track. The team grounded into four double plays, including one with the bases loaded to kill UCLA rally after UCLA rally.

Finally in the eighth a Amaral double scored Dunlap, but a solo home run by Stanford in the top of the ninth countered that run. Krill hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to cut the UCLA deficit, but that was as close as the Bruins would get and their perfect start came to a screeching halt.

The Bruins will look to find the series win they need to get Pac-10 play started on Saturday at 2 pm PST when they take on Stanford to close out the series. The game, at Jackie Robinson Stadium, will feature UCLA's Rob Rasmussen (3-0, 2.64 ERA) and Stanford's Brett Mooneyham (0-3, 6.85 ERA).