OMAHA, Neb. -- Gerrit Cole giveth, and Gerrit Cole taketh away.
The UCLA starter finally showed some vulnerability in the seventh inning of the Bruins' 6-3 win over TCU on Monday. After six innings of one-hit, shutout baseball, Cole gave up three singles to load the bases in the top of the seventh before TCU shortstop Taylor Featherston drove in three runs on a triple.
Cole gave the Frogs three runs, and the crowd, which had been subdued all night, was given something to cheer about.
But it was a mirage.
Cole turned around to strike out the final batter in the seventh before striking out the first two in the top of the eighth, just to be sure his point was clear. He pitched an eight-inning, five-hit, 13-strikeout gem that left TCU's formidable offense flummoxed.
He took away TCU's chance to play its way into the College World Series finals with its three powerhouse starters alone.
One of those powerhouses looked anything but on Monday night.
Right-hander Kyle Winkler gave up a run in each of the first two innings before losing control in the third, giving up two home runs (a two-run shot from Cody Regis and a solo homer from Jeff Gelalich) over three batters. Winkler was pulled after just 2 2/3 innings, having given up six hits and five earned runs in his limited work.
After Featherston's big hit in the seventh, the Frogs were unable to put anything significant together. Cole's two eighth-inning K's took the life out of the TCU offense, while UCLA center fielder Beau Amaral drained TCU with a ground-rule double that became a run after a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning. Bruins closer Dan Klein entered in the ninth and did enough to secure the win.
Amaral led all Bruins with three hits to go along with two runs, a walk and an RBI. Regis added two RBIs from his home run, and third baseman Dean Espy added a hit and a run. TCU first baseman Matt Curry was the only Frog with a multi-hit game (2-for-4, one run). Featherston finished with his three-RBI hit, and left fielder Jason Coats added a hit and a run.