June 5, 2010

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CBI Live
Bauer Masterful for Bruins against Tigers

By Ryan Eshoff

Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com


Ryan Eshoff is a rising junior at UCLA, a native of San Jose, and has seen more of California than is recommended. He has been on the sports staff of the Daily Bruin newspaper his entire UCLA career, spending the last year as an assistant sports editor and preparing to become a senior writer. He has covered the entire breadth of Bruin sports and considers himself, for better or worse, the world's foremost expert on UCLA water polo. In his less than copious amounts of free time, Ryan fights the East Coast bias and roots rabidly for the San Jose Sharks, the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Dodgers while wishing there was an NBA franchise in the Bay Area.


LOS ANGELES – Trevor Bauer played the part of virtuoso Saturday night. He got enough powerful solos to complete the performance.


UCLA's starting right-hander pitched eight masterful innings in leading UCLA to a 6-3 win over LSU in the winners’ bracket of the Los Angeles Regional.


Bauer – who struck out 11 and didn't give up a run until the ninth inning – was lifted in the final frame after the Tigers scored a pair of runs on a UCLA error and back-to-back doubles. As he departed, the sophomore received a standing ovation from the 2,613 fans in attendance – UCLA and LSU faithful alike.


"Trevor was outstanding tonight," UCLA coach John Savage said. "He really did a nice job going pitch to pitch. He pitched out of some problems early in the game; they had him on the ropes, he made some big pitches."


In supporting its starter, the UCLA offensive attack was highlighted by solo home runs from Cody Regis, Jeff Gelalich and Dean Espy. Regis drew first blood in the second off LSU starter Anthony Ranaudo when he drove a 1-0 fastball over the wall in left-center. The Bruins failed to score more than one run in any inning, but still managed to cross the plate six times.

Ranaudo struggled with control for much of the evening, but still recorded 10 strikeouts. The senior was charged with four of the runs.


"I thought Anthony competed really hard today," LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. "Usually that's good enough to win, but tonight it wasn't. We ran up against a really good pitcher.”


Indeed, the story of the game was Bauer, who seemed to grow stronger as the night went on and had four pitches working throughout most of the evening. He got out of jams in multiple innings early, and after he recorded a strikeout to end a rally in the fifth, the sophomore was visibly exuberant, screaming and pumping his fist.


"I get excited about the game of baseball," Bauer said. "Any time [LSU gets] people on, it’s a pretty electric atmosphere. When I make a big pitch or do something to keep my team up, it fires me up."


A night after rallying multiple times in the late innings and eventually defeating UC Irvine on a walkoff, the boys from Baton Rouge tried to make it déjà vu all over again. Savage sent Bauer out to the mound to start the ninth as he chased the shutout, but after the first three Tigers reached, UCLA called on closer Dan Klein to close the door.


Klein needed just four pitches to record the three outs and send the Bruins fans – in the minority despite the game being played at their stadium – home satisfied.


With the victory, UCLA will await the outcome of Sunday's first game between LSU and UC Irvine. The loser of that game will be eliminated, and the winner will take on the Bruins in the second game of Sunday's doubleheader.


"This thing's far from over," Savage said. "It was a good win for UCLA, but we know this thing's not over. Let's get back out there tomorrow and play some baseball."