Bruins Struggle In Loss To Washington State

April 27, 2002

LOS ANGELES - Washington State scored eight runs in the top of the fifth and held on for the 14-10 win over UCLA this afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Bruins hit three home runs in the bottom of the ninth, but it was not enough as the Cougars even the series at one game each. UCLA drops to 19-25, 5-6 in conference play, while WSU improves to 15-25, 3-11 in the Pac-10.

Washington State jumped out to a quick lead in the first inning. They scored three runs off of UCLA starter Wes Whisler, who had allowed just four runs in his last three games. But the Bruins answered back with four runs in the bottom of the inning. Ryan Rasmussen led off with a single and advanced to second on Rashad Parker's walk. Both base runners advanced when it was ruled that WSU catcher Brandon Reddinger interfered with Josh Arhart. With the bases loaded, Adam Berry drew a walk to send the first runner home. Parker scored on Chris Jensen's sacrifice fly, and two more runs scored on Brandon Averill's single up the middle to give the Bruins a 4-3 lead.

UCLA extended its lead in the second inning. Parker reached first base on an error and advanced to second on Arhart's single to left field. After Parker advanced to third on a wild pitch, he was sent home on Berry's RBI single to left field. After that hit, WSU starter Bryce Chamberlin was replaced by Nick Kenyon who effectively shut down the Bruin offense. The Bruins were not able to score again until the bottom of the ninth.

The Cougars took the lead for good in the fifth inning. They scored eight runs, highlighted by a three run home run by Robert Stahlke, his first of the year.

Washington State added two more runs in the seventh off of reliever Mike Castillo, and Jeff LaRue hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth to give the Cougars a 14-5 lead.

In the ninth inning, the Bruins were finally able to generate a little offensive power. It came from an unlikely source- Nick Lyon. After Brandon Averill led off with a double that dropped between the first baseman, second baseman and right fielder, Lyon pinch hit for Matt Thayer and made it a memorable first official at-bat. He rocketed a shot over the center field wall for a two-run home run in his first official at-bat of the season. He had two previous plate appearances resulting in a walk and a sacrifice bunt.

Rasmussen followed that with a single to right field, and Parker got into the home run action. He hit his first career home run to left center field. After a ground out, Berry hit a solo home run to left field, his 15th of the season to cut the lead to 14-10. But the next batter grounded out and the Bruin rally fell short.

Whisler (4-2) suffered the loss for UCLA, giving up four earned runs (six overall) on six hits and five walks. He also hit three batters. Kenyon (1-1) got the win for Washington State, allowing just four hits and no runs in 5.0 innings of work. He struck out six batters and walked four.

Rasmussen had three hits for UCLA, and Berry, Averill and Ryan McCarthy each had two hits.

The Bruins look to win the series on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

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