Bruins Fall to Cal State Northridge, 12-11
March 9, 2002
NORTHRIDGE - Ben Francisco's three run home run in the top of the eighth gave UCLA a one run advantage entering the bottom of the ninth, but the Cal State Northridge Matadors hit two solo home runs to win the game, 12-11. The Bruins had clawed their way back from a 10-2 deficit with home runs by Adam Berry (2), Wes Whisler and Francisco, but the Matadors pulled out the win. UCLA drops to 11-12 on the season, while Northridge improves to 15-6.
The Matadors jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the third inning, as UCLA starter Chris Cordeiro could not finish the third. He allowed six runs on just four hits, but walked five batters. David Johnson relieved Cordeiro, and finished the third inning. Johnson held the Matadors scoreless in the fourth, but allowed a three-run home run in the fifth to give the Matadors their only runs until the final frame.
Berry hit the first of two home runs in the top of the fourth. After Francisco singled, Berry hit a home run to left field to cut the lead to 7-2. After falling behind 10-2, the Bruins slowly chipped away at the lead. In the sixth, another Francisco single set up Berry's second home run of the day, this time to straight away center field. After Casey Janssen struck out, Whisler hit a solo home run over the scoreboard in right field to make the score 10-5.
The Bruins added three more runs in the seventh. Ryan Rasmussen singled to start the inning, and advanced to second on a fielding error by Matador left fielder Tim Dorn. Matt Thayer singled to right center, moving Rasmussen to third. He scored on Chris Jensen's pinch hit single. Thayer advanced to third on the hit, and scored when Matador right fielder Adam Nikolic throw to third got away from third baseman Ryan Haag. Janssen doubled to the gap in left center, sending Jensen home for the third run of the inning, make the score 10-8.
Ryan McCarthy's fly ball to right field barely missed being a home run, but Rasmussen got another Bruin rally going by hitting his third single of the day through the right side of the infield. After Thayer struck out, Casey Grzecka singled up the middle, setting up Francisco's three run home run. The blast to left center gave the Bruins an 11-10 lead.
UCLA reliever Mike Kunes entered the game in the seventh inning and allowed just one hit in the seventh and eighth innings. But the first batter of the ninth inning, Aaron McKenzie hit a solo home run to left field to tie the game, and the next batter, Rudy Simpson, hit a solo homer to right field to win it for the Matadors.
Berry's two home runs give him 11 for the season, and he has now hit eight home runs in his last seven games. In that eight game stretch, he has hit .419 with 17 RBI to go along with the eight home runs. He is 13-for-31 with 11 runs.
Francisco finished the game 3-for-5 with three RBI and three runs, while Whisler was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Rasmussen was 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Brandon Averill was 2-for-5 and both hits were doubles down the third base line.