UCLA's batting order responded to Tyler Rahmatulla's (5) absence, banging out 18 hits on the way to the program's first-ever win at the College World Series.
Maybe Tyler Rahmatulla's broken wrist isn't as big an issue as it's been made out to be.
The UCLA baseball team looked just fine without its No. 3 hitter, cranking 18 hits and scoring in all but one inning Saturday night to earn its first-ever College World Series win, 11-3, over Florida at Rosenblatt Stadium.
To make up for Rahmatulla's absence, head coach John Savage moved third baseman Cody Regis to second and gave first baseman Dean Espy the nod at third. The defensive alterations didn't affect the two at the plate, with Regis and Espy combining to go 4 for 12 with three RBIs in the heart of the lineup.
Another switch that worked: moving shortstop Niko Gallego -- usually the No. 9 hitter -- to the leadoff spot. Gallego, a .277 hitter this season, was 4 for 5 and scored twice. Beau Amaral adjusted well from being bumped from his usual leadoff spot, going 3 for 4 in the No. 2 hole to set the table and keep the No. 3-seeded Bruins on the verge of scoring throughout the game.
Pitcher Trevor Bauer also had to deal with a switch, starting the series opener instead of the second game (as he has all season). The sophomore right-hander was tagged for two runs early, but settled down to go seven innings and strike out 11. The punch outs helped him set UCLA's single-season record for strikeouts with 151.
UCLA plays Texas Christian University at 6 p.m. PT on Monday in the winner's bracket.