No. 9 UCLA Baseball Overcomes Late Deficit to Defeat Cal Poly, 4-3
March 26, 2010
LOS ANGELES - Second baseman Tyler Rahmatulla belted a two-RBI, one-out double in the bottom of the eighth inning to help the No. 9 UCLA baseball team defeat Cal Poly, 4-3, and extend its record to a perfect 19-0 mark on Friday evening at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
The Bruins' 19-game win streak is the longest such streak in program history.
Raising his batting average to a team-high .437 mark, Rahmatulla went 2-for-4 with the Bruins' only two RBI of the game. After designated hitter Blair Dunlap singled to left field, shortstop Niko Gallego grounded a base-hit up the middle, pushing pinch-runner Marc Navarro to third base. Rahmatulla's ninth double of the spring helped UCLA secure its first lead of the evening and assume a 4-3 cushion.
Right-hander Dan Klein retired three consecutive batters in the ninth inning to record his fourth save, and right-hander Trevor Bauer improved to 5-0, limiting the visiting Mustangs (7-14) to three runs and five hits in eight innings. Bauer recorded nine strikeouts and issued three walks in his first start of the season.
Cal Poly right-hander Eugene Wright (0-1) was tagged with the loss, surrendering two runs and three hits in one-third of an inning in relief. Left-hander Matt Leonard allowed two runs (both unearned) and seven hits through seven innings as the Mustangs' starting pitcher. Leonard struck out three hitters and did not issue any walks.
Dunlap and Gallego each went 2-for-4 and first baseman Dean Espy went 2-for-3.
Cal Poly was led at the plate by right fielder Mitch Haniger, who went 1-for-4 with a three-run home run.
The Mustangs claimed a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth. After second baseman Matt Jensen drew a leadoff walk and catcher Ross Brayton reached on a double, Haniger unloaded with a three-run homer to left field.
UCLA took advantage of a dropped fly ball to deep left-center field in the bottom of the fourth, slicing Cal Poly's cushion to 3-2. With two outs and two runners on base, Espy lifted a deep fly ball that was dropped near the warning track by Cal Poly center fielder Adam Melker, allowing Gallego and right fielder Brett Krill to score.
Prior to Friday's victory, the Bruins had not trailed in any ballgame as late as the sixth inning.
The Bruins and Mustangs conclude their three-game series Sunday afternoon. First pitch at Jackie Robinson Stadium is slated for 2 p.m.
Game Notes: Trevor Bauer has gone 12-0 in his career as a starting pitcher ... Blair Dunlap extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games, UCLA's longest hitting streak by any player since 2005 (Chris Jensen, 18 games) ... the Bruins own an 18-4 all-time advantage in the series against Cal Poly, dating to 1955 ... Trevor Bauer has registered 56 strikeouts this season, one shy of teammate Gerrit Cole's 57-strikeout total ... Bauer has registered a 2.33 ERA and .170 opponent batting average this season.