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Baseball: Arms race heats up

5/9/2011

UCLA's pitching staff had a fun little game of "I can do better" over the weekend -- Gerrit Cole was good, Trevor Bauer was better, Adam Plutko was best -- as the Bruins swept Oregon in Eugene.

Cole allowed a run in 7 1/3 innings Friday, Bauer tossed his fifth straight complete game Saturday and Plutko capped the series with a two-hit shutout Sunday. Now you know why every other coach in the nation is envious of what John Savage has.

That's what makes this UCLA team dangerous. Place these Bruins in any regional and they can sweep their way into the next round. Not many teams that can send another ace to the mound on the second day (Bauer). Or a freshman with a 1.59 ERA on the third day (Plutko).

UCLA (27-16) has a modest five-game winning streak after going 4-0 last week and moved up from 22nd to 19th in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 coaches' poll Monday. And with games against Long Beach State (23-22), UC Santa Barbara (19-20) and Cal State Bakersfield (26-18) this week, it might be seen as a disappointment if the Bruins don't go 5-0.