Cal Baseball Scores Four Times in Ninth to Defeat UCLA, 8-6
April 5, 2003
LOS ANGELES, CA - Down 6-4 with one out in the top of the ninth inning, Cal scored four times for a dramatic 8-6 victory over UCLA Saturday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Los Angeles. The Bears improved to 19-14 overall and 5-3 in the Pac-10, while the Bruins fell to 17-17 and 3-2 in league play.
With one out in the top of the ninth, sophomore third baseman Matt Einspahr started the rally with single up the middle. UCLA third baseman Brandon Averill then threw the ball away on a potential game-ending double play. Cal went on to take advantage of the opportunity, eventually scoring on a wild pitch, a past ball, a RBI double by sophomore designated hitter James Holder and a sacrifice fly by senior right fielder Ben Conley.
The winning pitcher for the Bears was sophomore reliever Travis Talbott (2-0), who struck out Brett McMillan for the final out of the bottom of the eighth inning. Sophomore closer Jesse Ingram earned his sixth save of the season by pitching a scoreless bottom of the ninth after walking the lead-off batter. The losing pitcher for UCLA was reliever Chris Cordeiro (0-1, 0.7 inning, one hit, six three runs, one walk).
Cal had scored two runs in the top of the first inning on a RBI double by junior catcher Chris Grossman and a RBI single by Holder. UCLA countered with a lead-off homer by Preston Griffin off of Bear starter Brian Montalbo in the bottom of the first. The Bruins then took a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the third inning on a grand slam by Matt Thayer off of Montalbo.
Cal added two runs in the seventh inning on a RBI single by junior first baseman Conor Jackson and another RBI double by Grossman. After the Bears had gotten within 5-4 with their two runs in the seventh, UCLA added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh on a Ryan McCarthy single up the middle, making the score, 6-4, entering the ninth.
Besides Holder and Grossman's exploits, junior shortstop Jeff Dragicevich was 3-for-5 with two doubles, Jackson was 2-for-3 with a double and RBI, and sophomore second baseman David Nicholson recorded two hits.
Cal will next face UCLA in the third game of the three-game series, Sunday, Apr. 6 at 1 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Bruins won the first game of the series, 10-2, Friday night.
UCLA: Griffin, solo home run in the first inning. Thayer, grand slam home run in the third inning.