In a season of ups and downs, the UCLA baseball team is going up, up, up at just the right time.
Behind Gerrit Cole on Friday night and Trevor Bauer on Saturday, the Bruins have won two straight at Arizona State, guaranteeing at least a share of the Pac-10 title, the team’s first since 2000.
Tonight, Bauer – who I feature in tomorrow’s Daily News in an 95-inch feature (Yay for newsprint! Yay for space!) – was masterful once more, moving to 12-2 with his eighth straight complete game, a 14-strikeout, five-hit, one-walk demolition of the Sun Devils. It was Bauer’s third shutout of the year in his 14th career complete game, as the Bruins became the first team since April 2008 to take a series in Tempe from ASU, which had won four straight conference titles.
Fabulous freshman Adam Plutko takes the mound tomorrow with a chance to win the conference title outright, though the Bruins can do no worse than a tie for first. Plutko is 6-3 with a 1.70 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 95 1/3 innings.