The fans showed up again and this time, they were rewarded by a UCLA victory. A day after over 1,400 showed up at Jackie Robinson Stadium only to see the Bruins lose their first game of the season and fall to 22-1, over 1,600 people piled into the stadium to see #6 UCLA top #26 Stanford, 7-5. The win handed the Bruins the series victory in their first Pac-10 series of the year and pushed their record to an incredible 23-1 on the season.
Niko Gallego paced the Bruins with a 3-4, three run effort to go along with a stolen base. Cody Keefer drove in three runs on three of four hitting and Blair Dunlap picked up a pair of hits in five at-bats. The Bruins tallied 12 hits in the contest, double the number the Cardinal put together and UCLA's two extra base hits also doubled Stanford's number.
On the mound, Rob Rasmussen struck out eight and allowed three runs on four hits in six innings of work to pick up the win and improve to 3-0 on the season. Garett Claypool went 0.1 innings and after one big pitch to begin his outing, Matt Grace allowed two runs in his 0.2 innings. Dan Klein played his role of closer perfectly yet again. The right-hander, who has yet to allow a run this season, retired six batters to earn his sixth save of the season.
In the nine innings played on Saturday, Stanford led for one half inning. The Cardinal got that lead in the top of the first when a single and wild pitch put a runner in scoring position for the subsequent single to bring a run across.
Trailing 1-0, the Bruins grabbed a lead in the bottom half of the first. Gallego got things going with a one-out single and Tyler Rahmatulla walked to put two men on. When Keefer singled with two out, Gallego came around to score for run number one of the inning. A walk by Dean Espy loaded the bases and another walk, this one by Cody Regis, forced Rahmatulla in from third for a 2-1 UCLA lead.
Two singles in the third inning got the Bruin offense going yet again. A squeeze bunt by Krill brought one across and Keefer drove in another run on a sacrifice fly to stretch the Bruins' lead to 4-1.
Just as a squeeze bunt scored a run in the third, small ball brought in another run in the fourth. Gallego singled and stole second to get into scoring position with nobody out. After a sacrifice bunt moved Gallego to third, all it took was a fly ball to center by Keefer to bring Gallego home for another Bruin run.
It took all of three pitches in the fifth for Stanford to make it clear that they weren't going away. The second pitch that the lead off man in the fifth saw he stroked for a single, then the very first pitch that the next batter saw was belted out for a two-run homer.
With the UCLA lead down to just two, the ballgame was a close one again. The Bruins got those two runs back in sixth though and Dunlap got things going with a lead off double. Gallego followed with a single and Dunlap raced around to score. With two out and on a 0-2 count, Keefer laced a single to bring Gallego in for a 7-3 UCLA advantage,
The Bruin lead was cut to 7-5 in the eighth after Klein allowed two runners to score that he inherited from Grace. Once the ninth inning came around, Klein was nails. The sophomore struck out two in an easy 1-2-3 inning to put the ballgame away.
The Bruins will enjoy their Easter Sunday and will be back on the field on Tuesday when they host Cal St. Fullerton at Jackie Robinson Stadium. First pitch is at 6 pm PST and it is $2 Tuesdays so all tickets are just $2. The Titans have a bus planned to bring a few dozen Fullerton fans down in addition to their other fans sure to show up so it is on the Bruin fans to show and make sure that the UCLA fans aren't outnumbered in their own ballpark.