June 19, 2010

 

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - UCLA scored in eight of its nine at-bats and Trevor Bauer struck out 11 over seven innings en route to an 11-3 victory over Florida on Saturday in the second game of the College World Series.

UCLA opened the scoring in the top of the first.  After Niko Gallego and Beau Amaral were both hit by a pitch, Blair Dunlap laid down a sacrifice bunt to give his team a pair of runners in scoring position. That set the stage for Dean Espy, who delivered a RBI single through the left side to score Gallego and give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.

Florida fought back to plate two runs in the bottom half of the inning.  Nolan Fontana walked to lead off the inning and Matt den Dekker singled to right to put runners on first and second with nobody out.  A balk by Bauer put the runners on second and third, and with two down, Brian Johnson belted a two-run single through the left side, giving the Gators a 2-1 advantage.

The Bruins started a rally to lead off the third.  Gallego and Amaral posted back-to-back singles and then executed a double-steal to put two runners in scoring position with nobody out.  Dunlap picked up a RBI while reaching on a fielding error by third basemen Austin Maddox to tie the score at 2-2.  Amaral scored on a wild pitch later in the frame before UCLA added another run on an RBI single by Cody Regis to make it 4-2.

UCLA continued to roll in the top of the fourth.  Brett Krill hit a ball to deep center, but den Dekker, playing center for the Gators, made an over-the-shoulder basket catch to rob him of extra bases.  With one down in the inning, Steve Rodriguez walked and Gallego doubled to left-center to give the Bruins two runners in scoring position.  Rodriguez would come around to score on a passed ball charged to Florida catcher Mike Zunino, increasing the Bruins lead to 5-2.

The Gators got a run back in the bottom of the fourth when Josh Adams connected on his ninth home run of the season, clearing the left field wall on a 3-1 pitch, to pull his team to within two runs at 5-3.

But UCLA answered back in the top of the fifth to extend the lead once again.  Chris Giovinazzo singled to lead off the inning and Justin Uribe was hit by a pitch, giving the Bruins a pair on with nobody down.  After Krill laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position, Rodriguez delivered a two-run single up the middle to give UCLA a 7-3 lead.

The Bruins lead increased to 8-3 in the top of the sixth when Espy singled to lead off the inning, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.  UCLA scored again in the seventh when Rodriguez doubled off the right-field wall to lead off the inning, and following an infield single by Gallego, Amarel produced a RBI single down the right-field line, increasing the lead to 9-3.
    
The advantage grew in the top of the eighth when, following an Uribe double, Krill produced a RBI single up the middle, giving the Bruins a 10-3 cushion.  UCLA scored its final run of the game in the top of the ninth on a RBI single by Espy, his second of the contest, accounting for the final score of 11-3.

Bauer allowed three runs on six hits over seven innings, with his 11 strikeouts on the evening giving him a school record 152 for the season.  The game marked the seventh time this season the UCLA sophomore right-hander has struck out at least 10 batters.

The win was UCLA’s first ever in the College World Series, as the team had previously gone 0-4 combined in their two CWS appearances in 1969 and 1997.  Gallego led the Bruins with a 4-for-5 performance at the plate, while Amaral and Espy each finished with three hits.  They will play TCU, which defeated Florida State 8-1 in earlier action, on Monday at 8 p.m. CT.

Florida, which is now 3-3 in opening-round play at the CWS, had six players post a lone hit apiece, with Adams’ home run serving as the team’s lone extra-base hit of the contest.  They will take on Florida State in an elimination game on Monday at 3:30 p.m. CT.