Baseball Drops An Extra Inning Heartbreaker

May 5, 2001

LOS ANGELES - It was another tough day for the UCLA Bruins, as they fell to California, 9-8 in 11 innings. Ben Francisco hit a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings, but the Bears scored an unearned run in the top of the 11th for the game-deciding run. UCLA drops to 26-22, 6-11 in Pac-10 play, while Cal improves to 29-22, 13-10.

Cal jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first, getting five hits off of UCLA starter Bobby Roe. Roe would settle down to retire the batters in order in the next three innings. The Bears added another run in the fifth.

UCLA put a run on the board in the first, as Matt Pearl hit a solo home run off of Cal starter Jason Dennis. The Bruins would remain scoreless until the fifth, when they scored six runs on just four hits. The Bears walked in three of the runs, and two runs scored on a Brian Baron single. Cal's Brian Montalbo had a particularly rough outing, as he hit one batter and walked two in just nine pitches before leaving the game. The six runs gave the Bruins a 7-5 advantage after the fifth.

The Bears took the lead in the seventh as they scored three runs to take an 8-7 lead. UCLA had an excellent opportunity to take the lead in the eighth, when singles by Eric Reece and Josh Canales had runners at first and second with two outs for Pearl. He hit a long ball to center field that bounced off the wall and into the glove of Cal centerfielder Ben Conley to end the inning.

Francisco gave the Bruins new life in the ninth, as he hit a solo home run to left field off of Matt Brown to tie the game at 8-8 and force extra innings.

Mike Kunes pitched a perfect tenth to keep the Bruin hope alive. In the bottom of the 10th, Preston Griffin singled to the gap in right center, and Canales reached base on an error by second baseman Carson White. With two outs, Pearl hit a ball to the gap in right center, but right fielder Rob Meyer made an incredible play to end the inning.

In the 11th, Meyer reached first on an error and advanced to second on a John Baker single. Both runners advanced when Kunes walked Nick Medrano. Reliever Doug Silva walked Spencer Wyman to score the game-deciding run.

UCLA had a chance to tie it up in the bottom of the 11th, as Ben Francisco walked, and stole second. He advanced to third on a long fly ball that Josh Arhart hit to center field, but pinch hitter Shane Miranda struck out looking to end the game.

The Bruins will look to win on Sunday with Josh Karp on the mound. He missed last weekend with a groin pull, but is healthy and will start on Sunday.

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