UCLA Rallies Late to Defeat Cal State Fullerton, 11-7, in 10 Innings
June 12, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA baseball team overcame a 6-5 deficit with two outs in the ninth inning, using a two-run, two-out homer from Tyler Rahmatulla, before scoring four runs in the top of the 10th to defeat Cal State Fullerton, 11-7, and force a decisive Game 3 in a best-of-three NCAA Super Regional series on Saturday night.
Saturday's win at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium marked the Bruins' first-ever NCAA Super Regional victory (Super Regional format began in 1999). The winner of Sunday night's 7 p.m. contest earns a trip to the eight-team field at the 2010 College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
Down to their final out, the Bruins (47-14) rallied in the top of the ninth inning as the game's designated visiting team before 2,005 at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Designated hitter Blair Dunlap drew a five-pitch walk with two outs before Rahmatulla unloaded with a two-run home run to left-center field, handing UCLA a 7-6 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, Cal State Fullerton (46-17) scored one run to push the game into extra innings. Left fielder Walker Moore singled to center, before pinch-runner Gary Brown advanced to second on a wild pitch. With shortstop Christian Colon at first base after drawing a walk, the Titans pulled off a double steal. The throw to third base tipped off Regis' glove, allowing Brown to score and Colon to take third base.
UCLA right-hander Dan Klein (6-0) escaped the ninth-inning jam and finished the evening having earned the win after allowing one run (unearned) and two hits in 2.1 innings.
In the top of the 10th, the Bruins cashed in with four runs. With one out, left fielder Jeff Gelalich reached on a bunt single to the right side of the infield. After shortstop Niko Gallego struck out, catcher Tyler Heineman and center fielder Beau Amaral drew consecutive walks to load the bases. Pinch-hitting Trevor Brown bounced a two-run single into left field, scoring Heineman and Gelalich. Rahmatulla lifted a fly ball to shallow right field that was dropped by right fielder Casey Watkins, allowing Amaral and Brown to score.
Cal State Fullerton left-hander Kevin Rath (2-3) was tagged with the loss in relief, surrendering two runs and three hits in one inning. The Titans were led at the plate by catcher Billy Marcoe, who went 3-for-5 with one RBI. Third baseman Richie Pedroza went 2-for-4 with one run and two RBI, and outfielder Joey Siddons went 2-for-4.
Rahmatulla proved to be the hero in the ninth inning for UCLA and finished the night going 1-for-5 with one home run and two RBI. Regis belted his seventh and eighth home runs of the season, going 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBI. First baseman Justin Uribe went 3-for-5 with one solo homer.
In a back-and-forth contest in the middle innings, UCLA led 4-2 after the sixth inning. In the top of that frame, Regis led off with a solo homer. The Bruins loaded the bases later in the frame and added one run as catcher Steve Rodriguez grounded into a double play, allowing right fielder Chris Giovinazzo to score from third.
Cal State Fullerton assumed a 6-4 lead with a four-run seventh inning, scoring three two-out runs in the frame. Marcoe led off with a single and moved to second on a walk drawn by designated hitter Carlos Lopez. Siddons loade the bases by reaching safely on a bunt down the third-base line. Left fielder Anthony Hutting grounded into a double play, allowing Marcoe to score and cut UCLA's advantage to 4-3. Shortstop Christian Colon drew a walk, before Pedroza lined a single to left field, scoring Lopez to tie the contest, 4-4. Second baseman Corey Jones bounced a two-RBI single with two outs into right field, handing the Titans a 6-4 cushion.
In the top of the eighth, Regis belted his second home run of the game, slicing Cal State Fullerton's advantage to 6-5, before the Bruins rallied in the ninth inning.
Bruins' right-hander Trevor Bauer allowed six runs and nine hits through seven innings, recording six strikeouts and two walks. Bauer surpassed teammate Gerrit Cole on UCLA's single-season strikeouts list, pushing his total this spring to 141 (third place, one strikeout shy of Alex Sanchez' 142-strikeout total in 1986).
UCLA and Cal State Fullerton resume their best-of-three NCAA Super Regional series Sunday at 7 p.m. (PT). Tickets for Sunday's decisive contest are available online at tickets.ucla.edu and will remain on-sale until the game is sold out. Only general admission tickets remain available. The Bruins will send junior left-hander Rob Rasmussen (10-2, 2.90 ERA) to the hill, as Cal State Fullerton will counter with freshman right-hander Dylan Floro (7-1, 3.08 ERA).
Game Notes: Saturday's win marked the third UCLA victory this season in which the Bruins were down to their final out (also, April 23 at Arizona and May 16 versus USC) ... freshman Cody Regis is the only Bruin to have hit safely in each of UCLA's five postseason games this month ... UCLA stands one win away from advancing to the College World Series for the first time since 1997 ... Cody Regis is the second UCLA player to belt two homers in a game this season - Steve Rodriguez has twice accomplished that feat.