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Saturday, March 20, 2010
Baseball's winning streak hits 15

By Blair Angulo

The wins keep on coming for UCLA baseball.

The Bruins beat Oral Roberts 20-4 at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Friday night for win No. 14 to open the season. The 15th win came Saturday afternoon in 12-2 fashion. The 15-game winning streak is the longest in the program's history.

"We're as good offensively as we've been in a while," coach John Savage said.

UCLA's pitchers are as good as any in the country. Gerrit Cole (ace 1A) gave up two runs in seven innings Friday and Trevor Bauer (ace 1B) followed that up by giving up a run in eight innings Saturday.

The only real trouble Cole faced was in the first inning when he gave up a run on a single, a double and a groundout. All balls were hit hard.

"They threw a punch in the first inning, no question about it," Savage said. "I thought we handled that well."

The Bruins did more than handle the 1-0 deficit well -- they responded with a resonating nine-run first that left Cole stretching restlessly in the bullpen.

"We could definitely shorten up the innings a bit for me," Cole joked as teammates Tyler Rahmatulla and Dean Espy stood nearby listening to him. "You guys take 30 minutes to rake. I mean, all power to you, but really?"

Senior Blair Dunlap led off with a double off the center field wall, freshman Beau Amaral singled on a bunt down the third-base line and Rahmatulla launched a deep home run to center field. "I was trying to respond," Rahmatulla said.

There was more where that came from, as UCLA added six more runs in the inning and seven more in the next two innings combined. "It gives you a big boost of confidence to not worry about the one run in the first," Cole said.

The No. 12 Bruins cranked out 16 hits Saturday for another 12 runs, while Bauer struck out nine in eight innings for his fourth win of the season. UCLA erupted for nine runs in the sixth to break a 1-1 tie.