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UCLA Crushes Washington, 11-3, To Claim Series

Cody Regis came around to score four times for the Bruins (Photo Credit: <a href="" target="new">Scott Wu</a>)
Cody Regis came around to score four times for the Bruins (Photo Credit: Scott Wu)

On Friday night the UCLA offense took a break and let the pitching get the job done, but on Saturday, it was all offense. Okay, that's not necessarily fair because the pitching was solid, but the offense stole the show with a 15-hit afternoon to lead the Bruins to victory. Despite starting off slow and falling behind twice, UCLA dominated the middle innings and stormed back to defeat Washington, 11-3, to clinch the series in Seattle.

10 different Bruins chipped in with hits on Saturday as UCLA pounded the Huskies' pitchers all the way up and down the order. Beau Amaral drove in a pair at the top of the order, Jeff Gelalich had three hits, including his team-leading eighth home run, in the middle of the order and Cody Regis and Kevin Williams for the job done at the bottom, with each picking up two hits, Regis scoring four times and Williams driving in three.

Maybe as encouraging for UCLA as the offense waking up with a big day was the start that Nick Vander Tuig had. The sophomore entered the game having not pitched six complete innings in seven starts, but he put a stop to that in Seattle. Vander Tuig worked 6.1 innings and while he gave up 10 hits, he allowed just three runs, two earned, struck out three and walked none. It was a strong performance that earned him a much-deserved win and pushed his record to 7-3 on the year. Grant Watson picked up a couple outs in relief and David Berg and Zack Ortiz each worked a scoreless inning.

With the UCLA offense sputtering early, Washington grabbed a lead in the second inning. A lead off single got them going, but then an error by Trevor Brown really changed things as it allowed the Huskies to get men on the corners, no out. Vander Tuig did well to induce a 5-4-3 double play next, but that allowed the opening run to score and the Huskies were in front.

UCLA got even in the very next half inning and it came via Tyler Heineman, who picked up a RBI single for the second consecutive game. With Regis at third and two out, Heineman put down a good bunt. The Huskies were stunned and Heineman reached on a single as Regis scored to tie the game up.

As quickly as the Bruins got even, the Huskies grabbed the lead back. With a man on in the bottom of the third, Jacob Lamb jumped all over a pitch and deposited it over the fence in right field for a two-run home run for a 3-1 Washington lead.

That would be the last time Washington led in the game. Gelalich led off the inning with a homer to right center, but that was just the start for UCLA. Brown followed with a single and after Regis was hit by a pitch Brown hustled around to score from second on Brenton Allen's infield single to tie the game at 3-3. Williams followed that up with a great nine-pitch at bat, which concluded with a single that scored Regis and then Amaral blooped a single into shallow left to score Allen to cap a four-run inning that saw UCLA take a 5-3 lead.

The Bruins added to their lead in the fifth when they loaded up the bases for pinch-hitter Shane Zeile. The freshman proceeded to smack a single up the middle, scoring Brown and Gelalich to put the Bruins up, 7-3. A sacrifice fly by Amaral then scored Regis and UCLA had themselves a five-run lead.

An inning later, UCLA was back at it, although most of this came with two outs. Cody Keefer led off the inning with a walk, but after a pair of groundouts, it looked like Washington might get out of the inning unscathed. Pat Valaika ruined those hopes by lacing a single up the middle to score Keefer then after the Bruins loaded the bags, Williams added a single up the middle of his own. That single scored a pair and the Bruins were cruising with a 11-3 lead.

All the while, Vander Tuig had worked himself into a nice groove. He wasn't working too hard to get outs and he finished six innings for the first time since March 18. He exited with one out in the seventh, handing the ball to Watson to get the final two outs of the inning. Berg followed it up with a couple of strikeouts in his 34th appearance of the season before Ortiz finished things off in the ninth to seal up a very nice series win over a hot Washington team with a chance to sweep out there on Sunday.