Bruins Rout Cal State Fullerton, 14-1
LOS ANGELES – The No. 8-ranked UCLA baseball team was dominant on both sides of the ball in a 14-1 win over Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium, posting a season-high in runs while allowing just two hits on the mound.
The Bruins (5-3) scored in each of their first five offensive innings, posting multi-run rallies in all but one of those. Meanwhile, starting pitcher Sean Mullen and a trio of relievers threw a combined two-hitter. It was the second consecutive game that UCLA allowed three hits or fewer.
Sophomore DH Josh Hahn (3-3, two RBIs), junior first baseman Jack Filby (1-3, two RBIs, two walks), and junior center fielder Kevin Kendall (2-2, three runs) led the way offensively for the Bruins. Eight separate players scored a run for UCLA.
"They threw multiple pitchers, and it just seemed we had a good approach against all of them," said UCLA head coach John Savage. "We just had a lot of good at-bats, and we got some extra-base hits, which we haven't had a lot of this season. Whenever we can do that, you're clearly in a pretty good position to win the game."
Kendall and Filby opened the game's scoring in the bottom of the first. Kendall started the frame by driving a fly ball on one hop to the center field wall for a leadoff triple, then came across as Filby unloaded on a 3-2 fastball and sent it over the right-center field wall for a two-run homer. It was the first home run of Filby's career.
The Bruins would go on to score in the next four innings consecutively.
UCLA would take advantage of some Cal State Fullerton miscues in the second, with the first run of a four-spot coming across on a wild pitch. Another two runs came in on a dropped fly ball off the bat of Matt McLain, followed by an RBI single back up the middle from sophomore right fielder Michael Curialle.
A Michael Perez double highlighted UCLA's third inning, as his two-bagger put two runners in scoring position with just one out. Both of those runners would be cashed in, first on another wild pitch, then another on a Kendall sac fly.
Hahn hit a no-doubt home run off the roof of the Gifford Training Facility in right field to lead off the fourth, continuing the Bruins' run streak. That shot was also the first of his career.
The Bruins broke the game open with a five-spot in the fifth, with runs coming in on a Hahn single, Curialle double, and Jarron Silva RBI groundout.
UCLA's pitchers had room to breathe with the large lead, but still yielded little to the Titan (3-4) lineup.
Mullen, who received the win to improve to 2-0 while lowering his ERA to 0.63, allowed just three baserunners over his five-inning start. He went six-up, six-down to start the game, then battled back to get an inning-ending double play after allowing back-to-back baserunners to start the third.
Cal State Fullerton scored its lone run of the game in the fifth, which was unearned following a UCLA error.
Relievers Jake Saum, Jake Brooks, and Charles Harrison combined to toss four innings of hit-free, scoreless relief. The Titans managed just one baserunner over that span, a two-out walk in the ninth.
Several Bruins were able to make their collegiate debuts in the rout, including outfielder JonJon Vaughns, infielder Daylen Reyes, and catcher Tommy Beres.
Vaughns made a spectacular play on the very first ball hit to him, making a sliding catch in shallow center field to rob a hit in the eighth.
UCLA returns to action this weekend by co-hosting the College Baseball Classic with USC. The Bruins welcome Pepperdine to Jackie Robinson Stadium on Friday night at 5:00 p.m., followed by a 2:00 p.m. rematch with Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, and a 1:00 p.m. showdown with USC on Sunday.