March 25, 2009
MALIBU, Calif. - Right-hander Trevor Bauer (2-3) recorded a career-high eight strikeouts in eight innings to lead the UCLA baseball team past Pepperdine, 7-2, Wednesday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium. Bauer limited the Waves (16-8) to two runs and six hits to earn his second victory of the season.
UCLA's offense received solo home runs from left fielder Gabe Cohen, first baseman Cody Decker and third baseman Casey Haerther to send the Bruins (8-13) to their sixth win in their last nine games. The Bruins became the first team this spring to hit more than one home run in a game against Pepperdine.
Wednesday's victory at Pepperdine allowed UCLA to finished its seven-game road trip with a 5-2 record.
Decker went 2-for-4 with two runs, as the Bruins also received two-hit efforts from center fielder Blair Dunlap (2-for-4), designated hitter Chris Amezquita (2-for-5) and right fielder Chris Giovinazzo (2-for-4). Catcher Gino Aielli went 1-for-3 with a team-leading two RBI in the non-conference victory.
Bauer's eight-inning outing marked the longest start of the season by any UCLA pitcher. The efficient right-hander recorded three consecutive outs in each of the seventh and eighth innings, requiring just six pitches in a perfect seventh inning. Left-hander Gavin Brooks recorded three groundouts on 10 pitches in a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close the game.
Pepperdine left-hander Matt Bywater (2-1) absorbed the loss, allowing six runs and nine hits in nine innings. Bywater totaled six strikeouts and issued one walk. The Waves received solo home runs from first baseman Aaron Gates and third baseman Colin Rooney.
UCLA claimed a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth on Decker's solo homer, his team-leading seventh round-tripper of the season. Gates responded for Pepperdine in the bottom of the inning with a solo homer.
The Bruins pushed their advantage to 6-1 with two runs in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth. Cohen belted his first homer of the year, a solo shot off the scoreboard in right field, to lead off the fifth. One at-bat later, Giovinazzo tripled to center field before scoring on a subsequent groundout by shortstop Niko Gallego.
In the sixth inning, Haerther led off with a line drive homer to left field on the first pitch of his at-bat. After consecutive singles by Amezquita and Decker, Aielli laced a two-out single to left-center field, allowing both runners to score and hand UCLA a 6-1 cushion.
Rooney cut the Waves' deficit to 6-2 with a solo home run to left field in the sixth inning.
UCLA added its seventh run of the game in the top of the seventh. Amezquita drove home Dunlap from third base with a two-out single to left field.
The Bruins return home to open a three-game Pac-10 series against Arizona on Friday, March 27. Game time is 6 p.m. The Bruins and Wildcats continue their series on Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.). All three games at Jackie Robinson Stadium will feature a live audio broadcast available online at uclabruins.com, as UCLA's Danny Lee and Tim Wilhelm will have the call.
Game Notes: Wednesday's game at Pepperdine marked the Bruins' final contest of a seven-game road trip and marked UCLA's 10th road contest in its last 12 games...UCLA finished its seven-game road trip with a 5-2 record...the Bruins have opened their 2009 season playing 14 of their first 21 games away from Jackie Robinson Stadium... Casey Haerther belted his third home run in his last four games...UCLA played its ninth game of the season against a team ranked in Baseball America's weekly top-25 poll (No. 17 Pepperdine).