Increased visibility: Bruins lean on the Horned Frogs 6-3, and drive to within 1 win of the Championship Round
UCLA Baseball can see clearly now the Frogs are gone: After beating TCU 6-3 in the Winner’s Bracket, the Bruins are now only 1 victory away from making the Championship Round of the College World Series. Their next game is on Friday, and it might be against TCU again, if the Frogs can get past Florida State on Wednesday. If not, the Seminoles will be the obstacle between UCLA and the Championship Round.
On Monday night, the Bruins were impressive with their Hitting and their Pitching. They hit two Home Runs, they scored 5 times in the first 3 innings (and in 11 of their first 12 innings in the CWS), and Pitcher Gerrit Cole Struck Out 13 Frogs and took a 1-hitter into the 7th inning.
The Frogs got a runner past 1st Base in only 1 inning all night, in the 7th, when they got their 3 runs on a bases-loaded Triple. But they were exceptionally quiet for the rest of the night, thanks to a devastating Cole. Knowing that the Bruins have two more Pitchers on the same level as Cole must make the Frogs DREAD facing the Bruins again. Maybe that will be enough for FSU to get the win. FSU just beat Florida 8-5. Those are the same Gators that UCLA spanked 11-3, so Bruin fans are gaining confidence quickly, but these “common opponent” stats based on individual Baseball games don’t mean much.
What means a LOT, apparently, is John Savage’s Head Coaching. It was bold to leave Cole in after the big Triple, with the tying run at the plate, but Cole made Savage look good, getting out of the 7th and even coming back out to pitch a scoreless 8th, before Bruin Closer Dan Klein finished it off with a scoreless 9th.
What also seems to mean a lot is the “JW” on the Bruins’ caps. The spirit of “JW” helped carry the Bruin Softball team to a National Championship, then it helped carry Jordan Farmar (and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) to another World Championship, and now the Basball Bruins are peaking at just the right time — despite a critical injury — and may make UCLA History. If JW doesn’t have a hand in this, he is at least up above ENJOYING it.