No. 12 UCLA Baseball Wins Series Opener Versus Oral Roberts, 20-4
March 19, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The No. 12 UCLA baseball team pounded out a season-high 23 hits in a 20-4 series-opening victory over Oral Roberts on Friday evening at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Bruins (14-0) received two or more hits from seven players, as third baseman Dean Espy led the charge with a 4-for-4, four-RBI effort.
Second baseman Tyler Rahmatulla belted his second homer of the season, going 2-for-3 with two runs and four RBI. Catcher Steve Rodriguez scored a game-high four runs, going 2-for-3 with three RBI. Third baseman Cody Regis came off the bench to go 1-for-2 with three RBI and one run.
Right-hander Gerrit Cole improved to 5-0, limiting Oral Roberts (5-8) to two runs and five hits through seven innings. Cole recorded eight strikeouts and issued three walks in his fifth start of the season.
The win improved UCLA's record to 14-0, as the Bruins extended their 14-game win streak, the program's longest such streak on record. The Bruins are off to their best start to any season in the modern era (dating to 1955).
Oral Roberts right-hander Drew Bowen (1-2) absorbed the loss, surrendering 11 runs (seven earned) and 10 hits, pitching into the second inning as the Golden Eagles' starter. Shortstop Tyler Saladino led Oral Roberts at the plate, going 4-for-5 with two RBI and one run.
Joining Espy, Rahmatulla and Rodriguez in UCLA's multiple-hit category included first baseman Justin Uribe (3-for-5), center fielder Beau Amaral (2-for-6), shortstop Niko Gallego (2-for-4) and right fielder Brett Krill (2-for-4).
Oral Roberts scored one run off two hits and an RBI-groundout in the top of the first before the Bruins answered with a nine-run innings to assume a 9-1 lead. The Bruins' nine-run frame was highlighted by a three-run blast from Rahmatulla and a two-RBI single up the middle by Amaral. In all, UCLA sent 15 batters to the plate that inning.
The Bruins added two runs in the second inning off a solo homer from Krill and a run-scoring double play.
UCLA's five-run third inning included a two-RBI single to center field by Rodriguez before Espy unloaded with a three-run round-tripper to left field, his fourth home run of the season.
Leading by a 16-1 margin after three innings, the Bruins added one run in the fifth and three in the sixth to push their cushion to 20-1. UCLA scored one unearned run in the fifth inning, and third baseman Cody Regis lined a three-RBI double to the left-center field gap in the sixth.
The Golden Eagles added one run in each of the final three innings, slicing UCLA's lead to 20-4.
UCLA and Oral Roberts continue their three-game series Saturday at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Game time is 2 p.m.
Game Notes: Gerrit Cole became the first Bruin pitcher to earn victories in each of his first five starts in one season since 2004 (Casey Janssen) ... including Friday's 20-4 victory, UCLA has trailed in 4.0 total innings (in five games) - the Bruins have scored at least one run following an inning in which the opposition has assumed the lead or increased its advantage ...Blair Dunlap extended his hit streak to a team-high nine games ... UCLA's 14-game win streak stands as the program's longest on record ... the Bruins have scored in the first inning in seven of their 14 games ... UCLA last faced Oral Roberts on March 19, 1986, at Jackie Robinson Stadium (Oral Roberts won, 11-1).