Omaha, NE (Sports Network) – Gerrit Cole struck out 13 in eight innings to lead UCLA to a 6-3 victory over TCU at Rosenblatt Stadium, as the Bruins gained key position in the College World Series.
UCLA had beaten Florida in its opener on Saturday before taking the win Monday, and plays again Friday, when a win would put the Bruins in the championship series. They will play either TCU or Florida State, which face off Wednesday in an elimination game.
Florida State survived an elimination game Monday, ousting Florida from the double-elimination portion of the tournament with an 8-5 victory. Also on Monday, on the other side of the bracket, Clemson took a 6-3 win over Arizona State in the teams’ first game.
Cole gave up only one hit through the first six innings, holding TCU scoreless as the Bruins built a 5-0 lead. But the Horned Frogs rallied to get back in the game in the seventh.
Singles from Jason Coats, Matt Curry and Jantzen Witte loaded the bases with two outs for Taylor Featherston, who tripled to left-center to make it a 5-3 game.
However, a sacrifice fly in the bottom half got a run back for UCLA, and Cole got through the eighth without allowing a run. Dan Klein took the mound in the ninth and got the final three outs to secure the win and get the save.
The Bruins got to TCU starter Kyle Winkler over the first three innings to gain an advantage. Leadoff hitter Beau Amaral, who finished 3-for-3, walked to begin UCLA’s first at-bat, moved to second on a groundout, then scored on a Blair Dunlap single.
Amaral’s RBI base hit in the second made it a 2-0 game, and UCLA used power to push its lead to five in the third. Cody Regis hit a two-run homer, and two batters later Jeff Gelalich homered to chase Winkler.