On Friday night, the Bruins benefited from some very shaky USC defense. On Saturday, they needed no help because just about everyone got in on the offensive action. By the time the game ended, the Bruins had knocked out 20 hits, seven of the extra-base variety. From the third through the seventh innings, UCLA sent at least five batters to the plate in each inning and the vast majority of the 1,360 in attendance walked away happy campers as the Bruins put a 15-2 hurting on the Trojans. UCLA now sits at 36-11 overall and at 12-8 in conference, good for second place all alone thanks to Stanford's loss.
To say everyone got in on the action is an understatement. 13 Bruins picked up hits in the ballgame and three of those players had two hits, while three more chipped in with three base knocks. Tyler Rahmatulla went 3-5 with a RBI and run to be one of those three hits guys, as was Brett Krill, who went 3-4 with three RBI, three runs, a home run and two doubles. Cody Regis hit a home run of his own and finished 1-4 with three RBI and a two runs scored. Justin Uribe and Niko Gallego joined Regis by scoring twice and Steve Rodriguez had a pair of RBI. Beau Amaral was in the group with two hits, extending his hitting streak to 15 games.
On the mound, the Bruins were stout. After a rocky first inning, Trevor Bauer settled down to pitch a strong game for the win and improve to 8-3 on the campaign. Bauer allowed just two runs on seven hits in seven innings of work. He did battle some control issues, walking six, but he was able to counter that with 11 strike outs. Brandon Lodge got into the game after Bauer and despite allowing three hits in his one inning, he kept the Trojans off of the scoreboard. Scott Griggs finished things off by striking out three in a scoreless ninth inning.
The bright start to the game actually belonged to the Trojans. The first batter made an out, but it was a hard liner to left that Cody Keefer snagged. After that, a pair of walks put two on and a double that was smoked into the gap put USC up, 1-0. With runners at second and third and only one out, it looked like Bauer was in for a long night, but he came through with a pair of dandy breaking balls to catch the batters looking at strike three, ending the inning.
It wasn't until the third that the Bruins got even when a single by Gallego and walk by Rodrgiuez put a pair on. Amaral then pulled a ground ball just through the right side to score Gallego and even up the game. The Bruins went on to load the bases, but they couldn't get the go ahead run- yet.
The very next inning started with Regis reaching on an error, which was cashed in one batter later on Krill's line drive double to right center. A bunt single put runners on the corners and then Gallego's single scored Krill. With two on, Rodriguez squared around to bunt, only to pull back and hit a hard grounder just inside the first base bag for a two RBI double.
UCLA may have built their lead to 6-1 in the fourth, but they added to it in the fifth. Uribe walked to lead off the inning and after an out, Krill came to the plate. The junior got ahead 3-0 in the count, then took a cut, ripping one over the 30 foot tall batter's eye in dead center field for a booming home run of lengths not often seen.
Leading 8-1, the Bruins put together a two-out rally in the sixth. Single by Dunlap and Rahmatulla were followed by a Uribe single, bringing Dunlap in to score. The very next pitch didn't fool Regis and the freshman hit one to dead center for a three-run home run that didn't clear the batter's eye, but banged off of it three-quarters of the way up. Doubles by Krill and Keefer followed to stretch the Bruin lead to 13-1.
USC finally showed some indication of life by scoring one in the seventh, but a RBI triple by pinch-hitter Chris Giovinazzo got that run back and then Dennis Holt came through for a pinch-hit single to give the game its 15-2 final score.
The win is UCLA's 12th in their last 15 games versus USC and they'll look to add to that total, as well as sweep the Trojans, on Sunday at 1 pm PDT. Rob Rasmussen (7-2, 3.36 ERA) will be on the Jackie Robinson Stadium mound for the Bruins as they look to close out a perfect weekend.