UCLA Scores First CWS Win Over University Of Florida

June 20, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

The first game for the UCLA Bruins at the 2010 College World Series couldn’t have gone any better.  Their bats came alive, and they got an equally dominant pitching performance against the Florida Gators.  Before the game, No. 1 starter Gerrit Cole was scratched for No. 2 Trevor Baur, and after manager John Savage looked like the smartest man in Omaha.

All season long, Baur had been filling the No. 2 role on the team quite nicely.  The win gave Baur his 11th on the season.  He went seven innings Saturday, striking out 11 and only giving up three earned runs.  82 of Baur’s 127 pitches were strikes, and he only allowed two base on balls.

“It was a tough decision,” Savage said. “Gerrit has started [first] all season long. That’s one thing we’ve been very consistent with, and we kind of know our roles. We just kind of went with the match up. It could have backfired, but we know we have a bunch of No. 1s. Trevor upheld his end of the deal, and now we’re moving on.”

The Bruins have been twice before to Omaha, but lost two straight in each appearance.  They will meet a strong TCU team Monday night in the winners’ bracket.  TCU are first-time qualifiers, and beat a worthy Florida State team in their first game at the CWS.

Baur also set the UCLA single-season strikeout record in the seventh when he caught Jonathan Pigot looking.  He struck out the next Gator, Preston Tucker, to give him 152 strikeouts for the season.  10 or more batters have found the bench after facing Baur in 17 of his starts.

“It’s definitely tougher leading off, with first-game jitters and obviously playing in such a great venue here,” Bauer said. “For me, it was more of just another game, try to execute pitches and go one at a time and let the results be what they were.”

After allowing two runs in the first inning, Baur regrouped to get the win.  He said a mechanical change was necessary from the first inning to the second.

“It was a little tough, battling out there and going against such a good offense,” Bauer said. “I settled in and started pitching off the fastball.”

The Bruin offense helped Baur get out of his early hole.  They scored a run in all but one inning, and Niko Gallego went 4-5 and Beau Amaral 3-4.  Blair Dunlap hit a misplayed grounder to third, allowing Gallego to come home to tie it at two.  Then Amaral scored on a wild pitch by Andy Panteliodis.

USA sportsbooks have set the Bruins as one of the favorites to win the College World Series at +200.  Their opponent Monday, TCU, have been set as the underdogs in Omaha at +1000.

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