Gerrit Cole subtly revealed one of his secret weapons late in the regular season.
The UCLA baseball team had just swept California in Berkeley, so maybe he was giddy and didn't really mean it. Perhaps he was joking -- the righty demonstrating a soft side not fitting for a hard-thrower like himself.
"It was that steak dinner we had," Cole said with a laugh before bouncing into the visitor's room.
Well, someone had his Omaha steak.
The sophomore pitcher cooked up a Grade A outing Monday night. Something medium-rare, something many would pay a lot for. He carried a stern, focused look throughout his eight-inning, three-run performance that wound up to be the ideal recipe for a UCLA win, 6-3, over Texas Christian.
"Cole showed why he's an All-American with the way he pitched," TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "That was really, really impressive."
The Bruins improved to 2-0 at the College World Series and will await the winner of Florida State-TCU for a meeting Friday. After going winless in two previous trips to Omaha, UCLA needs a win to get to the championship round.
A by-the-numbers look at Cole's work:
13 -- the number of strikeouts Cole recorded Monday night, the most in a CWS game since Cal State Fullerton's Jason Windsor fanned 14 in 2004.
13 -- the number of TCU batters that went down swinging.
97 -- the speed of Cole's fastball in the eighth inning.
1 -- the number of TCU hits through six frames.
2 -- the number of times Cole convinced head coach John Savage to keep him in the game.
9 -- consecutive batters Cole retired before Jason Coats singled to start a three-run rally in the seventh.
6 -- the number three-ball counts Cole got himself into.
151 -- the number of strikeouts Cole has this season, one shy of teammate Trevor Bauer's single-season program mark (set Saturday).