April 24, 2009


CBI Live
Bruins bounce Beavers in Pac-10 series opener


By Abbey Mastracco

Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com

LOS ANGELES - If there was a calm before the storm Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium, it was just one singular out: a pop up by Oregon State lead-off man Joey Wong to UCLA third baseman Tyler Rahmatulla.

From there on, the game was a battle, as the Bruins (10-6, 18-20) scraped and fought to a 7-5 comeback win over the No. 20 Beavers (8-5, 23-10) to open the Pac-10 series.

Gerrit Cole (4-3) got the win, despite a shaky start. Blair Dunlap (3 for 4, RBI, double, solo home run, three runs), Casey Haether (2 for 4, RBI, run) and Cody Decker (2 for 3, double, solo home run, two RBI, one run) led the Bruins. Gavin Brooks got the save in one inning of scoreless relief, his sixth on the season.


Tyler Waldron moved to 3-3 on the season with the loss. Waldron scattered six runs (four earned) on 10 hits over five innings, walking one and striking out three. Ryan Ortiz put up the best numbers for the Beavers, going 3 for 4 and was a home run shy of the cycle. Ortiz scored twice and drove in one. Stefan Romero went 1 for 4 with a two-run homer and three RBI.

“It wasn’t easy,” said UCLA head coach John Savage. “(Oregon State) did a great job of battling Gerrit Cole and they made him work for every out. It was a struggle through five innings.”

Cole, the hard-throwing righty who was drafted by the Yankees in the first round last summer, had trouble with his command. Cole fell behind hitters and gave up a two-run lead early on. After looking to have calmed himself with a 1-2-3 second and two quick outs in the third, the Beavers mounted a two-out rally before taking advantage of further command issues.

After Ortiz singled, Romero launched a high fly over the fence in left center to put Oregon State up 4-1. Cole then walked Jared Norris, beaned Michael Miller and hit Brett Casey to load the bases before balking in a fifth run. Koa Kahalehoe struck out to end the inning.

Cole lasted just five innings and threw 118 pitches. He gave up five earned runs on four hits, striking out six - only one more than he walked.

“I thought he was pitching frustrated, and when you pitch frustrated you don’t have good command,” Savage said. “But he did what he needed to do after giving up five runs, he put up two zeros.”

A strong defensive effort in the top of the fourth put the momentum on the side of UCLA, and the Bruins clawed their way back in the bottom of the by inning putting up three.

“They were putting a lot of pressure on us all night,” Dunlap said. “A couple big play kind of helps our pitcher out, takes him off the hook.”

UCLA continued to fight back, taking a 6-5 lead in the fifth. A Decker sac fly drove in Justin Uribe to tie the game a two-out opp-field double by Hearther drove in Dunlap.

In the seventh, Dunlap turned on a 2-0 inside fastball for a solo home run, giving the Bruins a 7-5 lead they would never relinquish.