For a while, it looked as if the Bruins just wanted to make things interesting. After getting out to a nice lead, UCLA led their lead shrink to a single run, but in the ninth they pounded the ball to the tune of seven hits for a seven run frame. That big inning put away any doubt in the game's outcome and led the Bruins to a 14-6 win over Washington to clinch the series win. The Bruins hopped back above .500 in conference play with the win to 9-8 and are also 33-10 overall with just 13 games left on the schedule before postseason play.
Coming into the game, only one Bruin had hit multiple home runs in a game this season. After the game that is still the case, but Steve Rodriguez has now done it twice. The catcher smacked two out to take the team lead with seven home runs in a game in which he went 2-5 with two runs and three RBI. Cody Keefer also hit one out for the first time in his young career. The freshman with 2-4 with two runs scored and a game-high four RBI. Cody Regis scored twice and made his only hit count with a three-run triple and Justin Uribe went 2-2 with two RBI and a run. Beau Amaral went 2-3 with two runs scored before being replaced by Chris Giovinazzo, who went 2-2 with a run. Tyler Rahmatulla also had a nice game, going 2-5 with a run and RBI.
The win went to Trevor Bauer, even if it wasn't his best game. The sophomore improved to 7-3 after allowing six runs (four earned) in seven innings of work while fanning six and walking a pair. Bauer gave way for Erik Goeddel, who retired the only batter he faced and Matt Grace did the same to his lone batter. Dan Klein entered and picked up his ninth save of the year with 1.1 perfect innings to give the bullpen six outs on six batters.
Twice the battery of Bauer and Rodriguez shot themselves in the foot in the first inning and they paid for it with a run. After a single and sacrifice bunt, Bauer's attempted pick-off went awry and the runner to third. Then, a passed ball charged to Rodriguez allowed the runner to score for a 1-0 Husky lead.
Washington's lead lasted all of a half inning. Uribe was hit by a pitch and Regis walked to put two on for Keefer. The freshman got a pitch on the inner half of the plate and turned on it, smoking a line drive out to right field that got out in a hurry. The three-run home run turned the game on its head and put the Bruins up 3-1.
An Amaral double started the UCLA third, but it looked like they might leave him when he was still hanging out on the bases with two outs. Uribe made sure the Bruins got the run though when he singled up the middle to put the Bruins ahead 4-1. The lead was almost increased some more when Brett Krill put a good swing on the ball and drove it to the warning track in center, but the Washington center fielder did an outstanding job to chase it down and catch it while running into the wall.
Uribe driving in Amaral was the method of scoring again in the fifth. This time, Amaral reached on a walk, but a Uribe single up the middle still did the trick to stretch the UCLA lead to 5-1.
The Bruins were on cruise control, but the Huskies didn't stop pushing. After an error by Niko Gallego, the Huskies picked up their second home run of the series to cut the Bruin lead by two.
It took just a half inning for the Bruins to get those runs back when Keefer drew a lead off walk and Rodriguez followed with a blast to right to regain the four-run lead at 7-3.
A two-run single in the bottom half of the seventh cut the Bruin lead to 7-5, then Bauer surrendered a home run to lead off the eighth inning. Not only did the home run bring the Huskies to within one, but it ended the day for Bauer.
At that point, the bullpen combination of Goeddel, Grace and Klein put the game on lock down, but they were surely made more comfortable when the Bruin bats exploded in the ninth.
The UCLA ninth got going with a lead off home run by Rodriguez for his second of the game. A double by Giovinazzo followed and after being sacrificed over, Rahmatulla singled to score him for a 9-6 advantage. Dean Espy was hit by a pitch and Krill singled to load the bases for Regis, who came through in a big way. The freshman roped one into the gap in right center for a three-run triple. The Bruins had a 12-6 lead at this point, but it wasn't enough. Regis scored on a wild pitch and Gallego reached second on an error. After Gallego stole third, Keefer singled for the game's final run, capping a seven-run ninth and 14-6 win.
On Sunday, the Bruins and Huskies will close out their series. Rob Rasmussen (6-2, 3.59 ERA) will take to the hill for UCLA in search of the series sweep in a 1 pm PDT start.