UCLA Earns Trip to College World Series, Downs Cal State Fullerton, 8-1
June 13, 2010
LOS ANGELES - Left-hander Rob Rasmussen tossed a two-hit complete game in a decisive Game 3 of the NCAA Los Angeles Super Regional before 1,967 at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Sunday night, leading UCLA to an 8-1 victory over Cal State Fullerton and the program's first berth in the College World Series since 1997.
Rasmussen (11-2) notched his team-leading 11th victory, striking out nine batters and issuing one walk. Rasmussen, who was selected in the second round of last week's MLB Draft by the Florida Marlins (73rd overall), limited the Titans (46-18) to one run and two hits in his first career complete game.
UCLA (48-14) overcame an early 1-0 deficit, scoring three runs in the third inning, two in the sixth, one in the seventh and two more in the eighth to pull away by an 8-1 margin.
Cal State Fullerton right-hander Dylan Floro (7-2) absorbed the loss, surrendering six runs (four earned) and eight hits in 6.1 innings. Floro notched four strikeouts and issued one walk. Titans' left-handed reliever Nick Ramirez allowed two runs and four hits in 1.2 innings.
Center fielder Beau Amaral went 3-for-4 with one home run, three RBI and three runs. The Bruins also received 2-for-4 efforts from second baseman Tyler Rahmatulla, third baseman Cody Regis and shortstop Niko Gallego, who also swiped two bases to push his season total to a team-leading 26 stolen bases.
Cal State Fullerton scored one run in the top of the first inning. Shortstop Christian Colon opened the game with a single and third baseman Richie Pedroza was hit by a pitch. Colon moved to third base on a flyout to center field before right fielder Tyler Pill scored the baserunner on a groundout to second base.
UCLA scored three runs in the bottom of the third to secure a 3-1 advantage. Gallego singled to center field and stole second base before catcher Steve Rodriguez drew a walk. After Gallego stole third base, he scored on a single to right field by Amaral. With two outs, Titans' center fielder Joey Siddons dropped a fly ball hit by Rahmatulla, allowing both Rodriguez and Amaral to score.
The Bruins added one pair of runs in the sixth inning to lead, 5-1. With two outs and the bases empty, Regis singled up the middle. A base-hit through the left side by right fielder Chris Giovinazzo sent Regis to third base. Left fielder Jeff Gelalich laced the first pitch of his at-bat up the middle, scoring Regis. Gallego followed with a single to center field, bringing home Giovinazzo from third base.
UCLA scored its sixth run of the game in the bottom of the seventh. Amaral led off the inning with a base-hit behind the second base bag and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by designated hitter Blair Dunlap. A one-out single to left field by Rahmatulla sent home Amaral.
Amaral capped of UCLA's historic evening with a two-run homer to right field in the eighth inning. The freshman from Huntington Beach, Calif., sent home Rodriguez, who reached on the previous at-bat with a double to right-center field.
UCLA returns to action against Florida in the College World Series on either Saturday, June 19 or Sunday, June 20. The Bruins have won more games (48) than any previous UCLA baseball team and have won their first-ever NCAA Super Regional.
Game Notes: Left-hander Rob Rasmussen becomes the first UCLA pitcher to win 11 or more games in a season since left-hander Jim Parque went 13-2 in 1997 - Rasmussen's 11 wins are tied for seventh-most on UCLA's single-season list with four other pitchers ... UCLA had previously advanced to two other NCAA Super Regionals, going 0-2 each time (2000 at LSU, 2007 at Cal State Fullerton) ... Beau Amaral registered a season-high three runs and tied his season-high with three RBI (also versus Cal State Northridge on Sunday, Feb. 21) ... Rasmussen improved to 2-0 in postseason play this spring, lowering his ERA in two postseason starts to a 1.80 mark (16 strikeouts, one walk in 15.0 innings) ... Amaral has led the Bruins in five postseason games, going 10-for-24 (.417) with one homer, three doubles, seven RBI and nine runs while posting a .517 on-base percentage.