The University of San Francisco Dons pulled off one of the bigger upsets of day one as they knocked off Gerrit Cole and the UCLA Bruins on the first day of the 2011 NCAA baseball tournament. The Dons pulled off the 3-0 win to advance in the winner’s bracket, while the regional hosting Bruins find themselves one loss away from elimination.
UCLA sent out ace Gerrit Cole to start on Friday night in the regional opener. Cole is expected to be the first or second pick in the upcoming 2011 MLB Draft but USF starter Kyle Zimmer stole the spotlight on Friday night, throwing a complete game shutout. Zimmer struck out eleven and gave up only four hits in securing the win.
The Dons biggest offensive performer was first baseman Nik Balog, who was 4-for-4 with two RBIs. His singles in the third and fifth innings gave the Dons a 2-0 lead they would never relinquish. Pinch-hitter Adam Clear added an RBI in the eighth inning that almost became pivotal.
UCLA had a shot to pull off the huge comeback in the ninth inning but fell just short. Zimmer struck out Pat Gallagher and Beau Amaral to lead off the ninth inning. However, Jeff Gelalich and Dean Espy both singled, followed by Zimmer hitting Cody Keefer to load the bases with two outs. Cody Regis worked the count to 2-2 before striking out to end the game.
The Dons now face UC Irvine Saturday night in the winner’s bracket. First pitch is tentatively scheduled for 6pm pacific.