Bruins Play Cal State Northridge in Three Game Series

March 6, 2002

This Week:
Friday, March 8, UCLA at Cal State Northridge, 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 9, UCLA at Cal State Northridge, 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 10, UCLA vs. Cal State Northridge, 1:00 p.m.

Next Week:
Tuesday, March 12, UCLA vs. Pepperdine, 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 13, UCLA vs. UC Irvine, 3:00 p.m.

Local Foes: A week after traveling to New Orleans and winning a series with No. 12 Tulane, the Bruins return to Southern California for a series with Cal State Northridge. The Matadors are currently 14-6 after winning the Clash of the Conferences Tournament last weekend. Games one and two of the series will be held at Cal State Northridge, while game three will be at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Sunday's game can be heard live on the internet at www.uclabruins.com.

UCLA Holds On For Win Over LMU: After taking a 8-1 lead after the fourth inning, UCLA allowed seven runs in the sixth, but was able to take a late inning lead and hold on for the win. UCLA hit four home runs, including Adam Berry's eighth of the season, and his fifth in his last five games. Wes Whisler hit his first career home run, and Billy Susdorf picked up his second save of the season. Mike Kunes got the win after allowing just one hit in 2.1 innings.

Bruins Make It Look Easy In the Big Easy: UCLA didn't let the elements hamper its stay in New Orleans, winning its series with Tulane, 2-1. After Friday's game was postponed because of heavy rain, the Bruins came out ready to play on Saturday. They won game one of the doubleheader 9-7. The Bruins had timely hitting, and Billy Susdorf was able to hold off the Green Wave offense to pick up his first save of the season. Casey Grzecka was 2-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI, all with two outs. The Green Wave stranded 16 runners on base. Game two was a pitching display by Tulane's Nick Bourgeois. He limited the Bruins to just four hits and one run, an RBI single by Susdorf. UCLA took advantage of five Tulane errors in Sunday's win. With temperatures in the 30's and 20 mph winds, the Bruins were able to jump out to a 10-1 lead after the top of the fourth, and the Bruin pitchers held Tulane scoreless in the final five innings for the series win. Ben Francisco was 4-for-5 with two RBI, three runs and three stolen bases, including stealing home. Casey Janssen picked up his third win of the season, allowing just four hits and two earned runs in 6.0 innings, and he went 3-for-5 with two RBI at the plate.

Keys To Recent Success: UCLA has won four of its last five games, with four of the five games coming against opponents who participated in the NCAA Tournament a year ago. One key to the team's recent success is tri-captain Adam Berry. The senior hit four home runs in the five game stretch, despite missing Sunday's game with an injury. He was 6-for-17 with seven runs and eight RBI in four games. His slugging percentage was 1.059 in that stretch. Also performing well for UCLA is freshman Ryan McCarthy. He is batting .353 in the five games with five starts at shortstop. Mike Kunes has a 2.61 in the 10.1 inning he pitched during the stretch, with a 2-0 record and one save.

Back On Track: The Bruins broke its six game losing streak when Adam Berry hit two home runs to lead UCLA to a 12-7 win over UC Santa Barbara. The Bruins burst out to a 5-0 lead in the second inning with home runs by Berry and Matt Thayer. Although the Gauchos chipped away at the lead, the Bruins responded by adding more runs on another Berry two-run home run, and four more runs in the sixth. The Gauchos threatened with four runs in the top of the seventh, but Wes Whisler shut down UCSB in the final two innings to preserve the win.

USC Sweep: It was a dark weekend in Westwood, as the Bruins were swept by USC in a non-conference series at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Chris Cordeiro pitched his first ever complete game, but took the tough loss as the Bruin offense was ineffective in the 1-0 loss. The sophomore pitcher allowed the one run on a solo home run on the second pitch of the game. As much as Friday's game was a pitching showcase, Saturday's game was not. The Bruins allowed 26 runs- the most ever in the Gary Adams' era. Eight pitchers played for UCLA, and starter Mike Kunes suffered the loss, allowing eight runs on 10 hits in 1.2 innings. Sunday was a better effort, but the Bruins still fell short. Adam Berry tied the game in the seventh inning with a solo home run, but the Trojans scored three unanswered runs in the final two innings for the win. Casey Janssen looked strong in his third start of the season.

Aloha: Hello Hilo. UCLA arrived in Hilo on Tuesday night and had an easy time with Hawaii-Hilo on game one, allowing just one run in the eighth inning in the 9-1 victory. David Johnson allowed just one hit and shut out the Vulcans in 5.0 innings in his first career start. Several position players also earned their first career starts, including Chris Jensen (3-for-5, 3 RBI) and Billy Susdorf (2-for-5, 3 RBI). The next morning, the Bruins drove to Kona to play the Vulcans again, and it was a similar result. UCLA held Hilo scoreless until the eighth inning behind Wes Whisler's three hit shutout in 7.0 innings. The freshman from Noblesville, IN, had five strikeouts in his first career start. Matt Thayer led the Bruins with three hits and four other Bruins had two hits each.

Aloha Part II: Goodbye Honolulu. While the Bruins found success on the big island, the Rainbows in Oahu were not as hospitable. The University of Hawaii swept UCLA in three games, with two of the losses coming in extra innings. Chris Cordeiro suffered his first loss of the season in game one of the series, allowing five runs on nine hits in 5.0 innings. The defense behind the groundball pitcher struggled with the astroturf infield, committing two errors. Down 6-2 entering the ninth, the Bruins rallied in the top of the ninth with two runs, but couldn't get any closer. Game two was a tough loss, as the game stayed close throughout. Things were all tied at the end of seven innings, with Mike Kunes allowing just one run to the Rainbows through seven. The Bruins took leads in the top of the eighth, ninth and 11th innings, but the Rainbows answered in the bottom of each inning, finally bettering the Bruins in the bottom of the 11th with the deciding run. Josh Arhart was set to be the hero, driving in two runs in the ninth and a run in the 11th that put the Bruins ahead, but the pitching couldn't stop the Bows. Ben Francisco was 3-for-5 with two runs and two stolen bases. Sunday's game was a repeat finish for the Rainbows, as things were all tied up after nine. David Johnson shut down the Rainbow offense, allowing just two hits in the final 3.1 innings of the regular nine innings, but Bryan Bock hit a walk off home run off of Mike Castillo to seal the sweep. Francisco had another spectacular performance, going 4-for-6 with three RBI and two runs, while Ryan McCarthy was perfect at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two runs.

Adams Picks Up Win #900 As Bruins Win Series With FAU: UCLA Head Coach picked up his 900th win as the UCLA Head Coach on Sunday when the Bruins defeated Florida Atlantic to win the series. In his 28th season in Westwood, Adams has compiled a 901-730-7 record. After a disasterous 23-13 loss on Friday night, the Bruin pitching staff was phenomenal in its next three games. Chris Cordeiro set the tone for the team, shutting out FAU in his 7.2 innings on Saturday. Mike Kunes picked up where Cordeiro left off, allowing just two earned runs in 7.0 innings, and Casey Janssen completed the turnaround on Monday when he allowed two unearned runs in 6.0 innings in the win over LMU. Chris Cordeiro had a dominating outing against FAU. The sophomore was perfect going into the fifth inning, and only walked one batter in 7.2 innings. He left the game with seven strikeouts, a career-high, and allowed just four hits. The Bruin offense was not quite as successful, but was able to put together a string of hits to score the deciding runs. Three of the four runs were driven home by sacrifice flies. Josh Arhart was the only Bruin with more than one hit. Mike Kunes picked up where Cordeiro left off, pitching a career-high 7.0 innings and allowing just two earned runs. Casey Grzecka was 2-for-4 with a career-high four RBI, and Arhart hit his first home run of the season. Casey Janssen continued the pitching trend on Monday against Loyola Marymount. The sophomore who completes the regular starting rotation allowed just two unearned runs in 6.0 innings on just six hits. He also struck out six batters. Wes Whisler had his best outing so far, going 3-for-4 with two RBI. Arhart continued to be hot at the plate, finishing with three hits. Freshman Kevin Conlin was 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Ben Francisco Named UCLABruins.Com Student-Athlete of the Week: Junior centerfielder Ben Francisco was named UCLA athlete of the week after he batted .562 with two home runs and 9 RBI in the first four games of the season. He had a 1.062 slugging % and hit two doubles. This is his first UCLABruins.com athlete of the week honor of his career.

Bruins Win First Series: UCLA won its first series of the year against Gonzaga. The Bruins won game one behind strong pitching by Mike Kunes and Kyle Wilson. The junior lefty allowed just one earned run in 5.0 IP in his first start of the year, and the newcomer Wilson allowed just a single run to pick up the first save of his career. Casey Janssen went 3-for-4 with two RBI and the bottom three in the order all went 2-for-4. The offense was present, but the pitching struggled in Saturday's game, as the Bruins allowed 14 runs on 16 hits. Freshman David Johnson was tagged with the loss as he allowed the final four runs of the game (only two were earned). Adam Berry had a strong day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with UCLA's first home run of the season and double. Ben Francisco also gathered three hits and scored twice. Sunday's game was a different story. The Bruins were finally able to pull together the hitting and the pitching, Casey Janssen had a solid pitching performance, allowing just two runs in 5.0 IP, and Francisco had a career day at the plate. He was 4-for-4 with two home runs (a two-run shot and a grand slam) to finish with a career-high six RBI. He also had a double and scored four times.

Season Opener: The 2002 season got off to a rocky start when the Bruins fell to UC Irvine, 6-4. The pitchers looked strong, as Chris Cordeiro allowed just two earned runs and struck out five in 4.0 innings in his first career start. Mike Davern pitched the final two innings well, not allowing a hit or a walk. The Bruin offense struggled though, striking out 13 times in its first game. In seven innings, the Bruins sent the minimum three batters to the plate. Freshmen Kevin Conlin (3B) and Wes Whisler (1B) became the first freshmen to start in the opener since 1999 when Randall Shelley (1999-2001) started at the hot corner.

Talented But Inexperienced Bruins: The Bruin roster features 21 players who are freshman or sophomores this year. Of the 10 opening day starters, six were sophomores or freshman, including two true freshman at the corners of the infield. The Bruins lost eight seniors and two juniors from the 2001 season, including their top four starting pitchers. Seven players from the 2001 roster are now playing professional baseball, including Josh Karp who was the sixth pick overall of the draft, chosen by the Montreal Expos.Of the sophomores in the opening day starting lineup, only Preston Griffin was a regular starter in 2001. Brandon Averill started 13 games at third base, but moved to left field this season, a position he has never played before. Casey Janssen played 13 games as a pitcher, but only had nine at-bats in 2001. His first one was a memorable one, hitting a two-run home run in his first career appearance. Starting pitcher Chris Cordeiro pitched just 15.1 innings in 2001, second-fewest on the team. But despite the lack of experience, the team features talented youngsters that should improve as they gain experience.

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