FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
OMAHA – The UCLA Bruins jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first and cruised to a 10-3 victory over the TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday afternoon in game 13 of the College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium. The Bruins will play for their first national title beginning Monday at 6:30 p.m. CT against the winner of tonight’s contest between Clemson and South Carolina.
UCLA rode the coattails of starter Trevor Bauer’s 13-strikeout performance, making him the nation’s leader with 165 strikeouts this year. Bauer (12-3) retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced, fanning the last four hitters he faced before exiting after eight innings. He held the Frogs to three runs on four hits, as the Bruins held TCU to its lowest hit total of the year.
The Bruin offense powered out 15 hits, paced by designated hitter Blair Dunlap’s 3-for-5, three-RBI day. Second baseman Cody Regis and third baseman Dean Espy each chipped in a pair of RBIs, as UCLA reached the MCWS finals for the first time in program history.
The Frogs struck first in the opening frame when catcher Bryan Holaday bashed a 2-1 pitch to left for his 16th home run of the season. Holaday added his second homer of the game in the fifth, marking his fourth long ball of the series and third in the last two games.
The wheels quickly fell off for TCU in the bottom half of the first, as Dunlap put a charge in a 1-0 pitch from TCU starter Kyle Winkler and sent it sailing over the leftfield wall for a three-run homer. Center fielder Beau Amaral was hit by a pitch to open the inning and shortstop Niko Gallego followed with a single prior to Dunlap’s blast. The long ball chased Winkler (12-3) out of the game as he threw just nine pitches and suffered the loss.
Paul Gerrish came on in relief, but the Bruins weren’t finished yet. Gerrish issued a walk to Regis, who eventually scored when Jeff Gelalich smacked a double to the gap in left-center. Gelalich made his way home on Espy’s infield single, giving the Bruins a 5-1 advantage after just an inning.
Trailing 6-1 in the fourth, TCU manufactured a run, as Matt Curry reached on an error to start the inning. A wild pitch and base knock moved Curry to third before designated hitter Joe Weik’s sac fly to deep center pulled TCU within four.
After Holaday’s second homer of the day cut UCLA’s lead to 6-3, the Bruins generated a pair of runs to widen the margin back to 8-3. Regis drove in Gallego with a run-scoring single, while Dunlap singled and later scored on a passed ball.
The Bruins continued to wreak havoc on the TCU bullpen in the seventh. Espy drilled the first pitch of the frame to left for his ninth home run of the season, and catcher Steve Rodriguez made it 10-3 as he crossed the plate when TCU leftfielder Jason Coats mishandled Amaral’s double down the leftfield line.