Bruins Fall To California in Conference Opener
April 5, 2002
BERKELEY - UCLA fell to California, 5-3, in its conference opener this afternoon at Evans Diamond. With the game tied 2-2 after the top of the fifth, the Bears erupted for three runs in the bottom of the inning and held on for the win. UCLA drops to 13-18, 0-1 in conference play and falls for the sixth consecutive game. California improves to 21-14, 4-3 in the Pac-10.
California got on the board first. John Baker walked to start off the bottom of the second inning. After he advanced to second on a balk by Bruin starter Chris Cordeiro, he scored on a Justin Nelson ground ball through the right side of the infield.
The Bruins answered in the top of the fourth. Ben Francisco got UCLA's first hit of the game, a line drive single to center field. The Pac-10's leader in stolen bases stole second and advanced to third on Josh Arhart's ground out. Francisco scored on Adam Berry's RBI ground out.
The Bears took the lead again in the bottom of the fourth when David Nicholson hit a solo home run over the left field wall, but the Bruins answered again in the fourth. With two outs, Ryan Rasmussen legged out a slow roller to shortstop Jeff Dragicevich, and stole second. He scored on Francisco's RBI single to tie the game at 2-2.
California took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth. The Bears scored three runs off of Cordeiro, who falls to 1-4 on the season. The sophomore right hander had one of his better outings of the season, allowing five runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings. He struck out three batters and walked two. He kept the Pac-10's best hitter, Conor Jackson, from getting a hit. Jackson, who was hitting .419 entering the game, went 0-for-4 with three ground outs and a fly ball.
Brandon Averill hit a solo home run to left center field in the top of the sixth, but that would be all the scoring the Bruins could come up with. Cal's starter, Trevor Hutchinson, would retire the next nine batters and was one out away from a complete game.
Francisco was the only Bruin with more than one hit. The right fielder was 2-for-4 with an RBI, a run and a stolen base.
The Bruins look to break back into the win column in game two of the series on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Wes Whisler is on the mound for UCLA and is 1-1 on the season.
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