No. 7 UCLA Baseball Defeats No. 22 Washington State, 6-1, in Series Opener
May 28, 2010
LOS ANGELES - Right-hander Gerrit Cole registered 11 strikeouts in 6.2 innings, allowing one run and four hits, to earn the victory and lead the No. 7 UCLA baseball team past No. 22 Washington State, 6-1, in a Pac-10 series opener at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Friday night.
Cole (9-2) limited the visiting Cougars (33-19, 14-11) to four singles and three walks in 6.2 innings to move into a tie for the team lead in wins with teammate Trevor Bauer (9-3). Cole's 11-strikeout effort pushed the sophomore from Santa Ana, Calif., into the Pac-10 strikeout lead, with a career-best 124 punchouts this season.
Washington State right-hander Chad Arnold (5-3) absorbed the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) and six hits in six innings. Arnold struck out four batters and walked three.
UCLA (42-12, 17-8) won its 10th consecutive Pac-10 game after having swept Washington, USC and California the previous three weekends. The Bruins have not won 10 straight conference contests for the first time since finishing the 1924 season with a perfect 10-0 record in the Southern California Conference.
The Bruins currently trail first-place Arizona State by 1.5 games in the Pac-10 standings. The Sun Devils dropped a 5-2 decision at Stanford on Friday and have just one Pac-10 game remaining (Saturday). UCLA can clinch a Pac-10 Co-Championship by winning its final two games against Washington State and with an Arizona State loss on Saturday. The Bruins have not won a share of the Pac-10 title since a four-way tie resulted in 2000.
Additionally, UCLA has won more regular-season games than any Bruins' ballclub since the 1967 squad went 43-19 (two of those 43 victories counted against non-college clubs).
Three UCLA relief pitchers combined for 2.1 hitless innings, notching four strikeouts and one walk. Left-hander Matt Drummond recorded the final out in the seventh inning, before right-handers Erik Goeddel and Dan Klein each logged two strikeouts in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.
The Bruins led 2-0 in the bottom of the third on Rahmatulla's sixth home run of the season, a two-run shot over the fence in center field. Rahmatulla's blast scored Rodriguez, who led off the inning with an infield single.
UCLA pushed its margin to 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth. Rodriguez lifted a sacrifice fly to center field with runners at the corners, allowing left fielder Jeff Gelalich to tag up and score from third base.
Washington State got on the board with one run in the fifth inning. Catcher Jay Ponciano drew a leadoff walk before advancing to second base on a wild pitch. Ponciano scored on a single through the right side by center fielder Garry Kuykendall, who was tagged out by shortstop Niko Gallego after attempting to reach second base.
UCLA added one run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly to left field by first baseman Justin Uribe and scored one pair of runs in the eighth inning on a dropped throw at first base on a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly to center field lifted by right fielder Brett Krill.
The Bruins continue their three-game series against Washington State on Saturday afternoon. Game time at Jackie Robinson Stadium is 2 p.m. Admission costs $7 for adults and $5 for children (ages 16 and under). Fans can listen to a live audio broadcast online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com.
Game Notes: UCLA's 17 Pac-10 wins are the most conference victories for the program since going 17-7 in 2000 (Pac-10 teams played three fewer conference games that season and up through 2009, when Oregon brought back baseball) ... Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer have both logged nine victories this spring, marking the first season in program history since 1997 in which two UCLA pitchers have collected nine or more wins (1997 saw Bruin left-handers Jim Parque and Tom Jacquez win 13 and 10 games, respectively) ... UCLA's 42 wins are tied for the fourth most in program history (the 1997 team holds the all-time record for wins in a season with 45).