Bruins Edge Hawaii, 5-4
Feb. 9, 2003
UCLA (3-3) returned to winning ways with a 5-4 victory over Hawaii (1-1) on Saturday night, in front of 3,016 fans at Les Murakami Stadium.
Hawaii responded with two in the bottom of the second inning. A lead-off walk and throwing error from Ryan McCarthy helped bring the first Rainbow run across the plate. A Brian Finegan double to right field scored Brian Bock, who advanced on a wild pitch from starter Mike Kunes.. Kunes retired the side with a strikeout to Schafer Magana. At the end of two innings, the teams were even at 2-2.
UCLA returned the favor in the top of the third with singles from Griffin and Casey Janssen and an RBI-single from Whisler to lead-off the inning. After a fly-out from Billy Susdorf failed to advance the runners, Denove recorded his third RBI of the night with a single to right field that scored Janssen. Two runners were left on base as Brett McMillan struck out and McCarthy popped up to second.
Hawaii cut the Bruin lead to one at 4-3, in the bottom of the third when a sacrifice fly from Josh Green scored Isaac Omura, who reached base on a double down the left field line. Kunes got out of the jam retiring the next two Rainbow batters.
The scoring resumed in the bottom of the fifth when Hawaii used two walks, a hit batter and a sacrifice bunt to even the score at 4-4.
A chance to re-take the lead slipped away in the sixth when McMillan led off the inning with a single to left field. A sacrifice bunt from McCarthy moved him to second and a ground out to second base from Matt Thayer advanced him to third. However, Sean Carpenter flew out to center field to close the inning. Another opportunity slipped through the Bruins' fingers in the eighth when Susdorf walked to start the inning. Yet, UCLA could not capitalize as Hawaii retired the next three batters.
The Rainbows failed to take advantage of their opportunities as well. Bruin reliever David Johnson started the eighth inning by hitting Andrew Sansaver and walking Brian Bock. Yet, Johnson recovered to strike-out the next two batters and force Magana to pop up to McCarthy.
The trend would change in the top of the ninth inning as Thayer lined out to left field to start the inning. Carpenter followed him with a single to center to start a late rally. A passed ball on Hawaii catcher Brian Bock would allow Carpenter to advance to third while Janssen was at the plate. Two pitches later, Carpenter would score on a wild pitch from reliever Rich Olsen to give UCLA a 5-4 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Johnson started hot in the ninth, striking out Omura. Brent Cook followed up by grounding out to McCarthy. Green hit a two-out single to right field to keep the Rainbows alive before pinch hitter Jaziel Mendoza was called upon to extend the rally. Yet, Johnson stayed solid, striking out Mendoza on three pitches.
Johnson earned the win in his first appearance of the season after pitching 2.2 innings and striking out six. He and Kunes combined for ten strikeouts. Kunes lasted 6.1 innings, allowing only two earned runs on four hits.
The Bruins and Rainbows will wrap-up the series tomorrow. Game time is set for 1:05 p.m. local time. UCLA will start right-hander Casey Janssen, who struck-out ten batters in 4.2 innings in his first start of the season. On the mound for the Rainbows will be sophomore right-hander Ricky Bauer. The game will be internet broadcast at uhathletics.hawaii.edu.