Late Rally Falls Short As UCLA Holds Off Cougars, 9-5

April 7, 2006

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - UCLA hit two home runs, including a two-out grand slam in the fourth inning by Brandon Crawford, to lead the Bruins to a 9-5 victory over Washington State in Pacific-10 Conference series opener Friday evening at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

With the loss the Cougars fall to 21-11 on the season, 3-4 in conference action while the Bruins improve to 17-13, 2-2 in Pac-10 play.

Trailing 9-0 through six innings, WSU put up a five-run seventh to get back in the game. With two outs and the bases loaded, Ryan Krauser singled to center, scoring Paul Gran with the Cougars' first run. Pinch-hitter Scott Suttmeier then singled down the line in left, scoring Zach Franklin and Simi Reynolds. After a walk to Jay Miller loaded the bases again, an error by UCLA pitcher Paul Oseguera let in another run followed by a bases-loaded walk to Gran as WSU cut the lead to 9-5.

In the ninth the first three Cougars reached base courtesy of a hit by pitch, error and walk to Jay Miller, loading the bases for the power part of the Cougar lineup. Unlike the seventh, the Cougars did not have more in their bats as a pair of strikeouts and a force out of Miller at second bases ended the contest.

The Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second off Cougar starter Mike Wagner as Brett McMillan connected for a three-run home run to right center. In the fourth the lead was increased to 8-0 when Crawford followed a bases-loaded walk with his sixth home run of the season, a grand slam over the center field fence. The Bruins added a single run in the sixth as Ryan Babineau's sacrifice fly to left scored McMillan.

Wagner went five and 2/3 innings, allowing nine runs on eight hits while striking out six as his record fell to 3-5. Reese Baker came on in the sixth to go the rest of the way, allowing just one hit and no runs. At the plate Krauser had a pair of hits to lead a seven-hit Cougar attack.

Hector Ambriz picked up his fifth win of the season as he went six and 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. Oseguera and Josh Roenicke combined for two and 2/3 innings of hitless relief. McMillan finished his night with two hits, four RBIs and three runs scored, while Crawford also had four RBIs.

These same two teams continue their series Saturday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m., a change from previous schedules which listed a 6 p.m. start time.
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