UCLA Grinds Out Win Over Long Beach State, 9-7

April 18, 2006

Los Angeles - UCLA used seven different pitchers to grind out a 9-7 win over Long Beach State in a non-conference game on Tuesday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The win improves the Bruins to 21-15 overall while the Dirtbags fall to 16-18-1. UCLA sweeps Long Beach State in a home-and-home series for the first time since 1995.

Freshman Cody Decker went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run, Eric Taylor, Jr. went 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI, and freshman Jermaine Curtis went 2-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored. Senior Josh Roenicke went 2-for-4 with a RBI double.

Freshman Jason Novak tossed 2.2 innings in his first career start (pre-determined) to earn the win, giving up three runs on two hits with two strikeouts. Roenicke pitched 0.2 innings in the ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.

Long Beach State took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a solo home run by AJ Pinocchio with one out.

UCLA responded with five runs in the first to take a 5-1 lead over the Dirtbags. Curtis nailed a one-out single up the middle, senior Chris Jensen singled through the left side, and junior Hector Ambriz walked to load the bases for the Bruins. Taylor, Jr. hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Curtis from third and tie the game at 1-1.

Senior Brett McMillan followed with a laser down the right field line for a double to score Jensen and advance Ambriz to third base. With two outs, freshman Tim Murphy hit a line drive to Long Beach State center fielder Robert Perry that was dropped to score Ambriz and McMillan to give UCLA a 4-1 advantage. Roenicke followed with a RBI double over Perry's head in center field to pick up Murphy and put the Bruins up 5-1.

Long Beach State scored two runs in the third inning on a solo home run to right field by Perry and a RBI single to left field by Jose Hernandez to cut the UCLA lead to 5-3.

Taylor, Jr. drilled a solo home run to left center to lead off the third inning to put UCLA up 6-3.

The Dirtbags cut the Bruin lead to 6-4 in the fourth inning on a RBI ground out by Chuck Sindlinger to score Scott Bradley from third.

UCLA used a base hit and a long ball to go up 9-4 in the fourth inning. Freshman Ryan Babineau doubled down the left field line to open the inning, and advanced to third on a ground out to second by freshman Brandon Crawford. Curtis followed with a RBI single up the middle to score Babineau from third and give UCLA a 7-4 lead. Decker hit a two-run home run to left field with two outs to put UCLA up 9-4.

Long Beach State added a run in the fifth inning on a throwing error by Curtis trying to turn a double play to score Evan Longoria from second base and cut the Bruin lead to 9-5.

The Dirtbags scored two runs in the seventh inning to cut the Bruin lead to 9-7. Shane Peterson grounded out to shortstop to score Pinocchio from third to put the score at 9-6. With two outs, senior Daniel Miltenberger came in to pitch and immediately balked home Longoria from third to give Long Beach State its seventh run of the game.

In the eighth inning, junior Paul Oseguera pitched in relief of Miltenberger and induced a clutch double play on a strike `um out-throw `um out, as Sindlinger struck out looking and Danny Espinosa was thrown out at third base trying to steal to end the inning.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, with two runners on and two outs, Crawford crushed a ball to the right field gap that was snatched by Dirtbag right fielder Jose Hernandez to prevent two runs from scoring.

Roenicke relieved Oseguera in the ninth to retire the final two Dirtbags, striking out one to seal the win for the Bruins.

UCLA will next host Arizona State for a three-game Pac-10 series beginning Friday, April 21 at Jackie Robinson Stadium.