No. 11 UCLA Baseball Drops Series Opener to No. 7 Long Beach State, 13-3
March 21, 2008
LOS ANGELES - The No. 11 UCLA baseball team fell to No. 7 Long Beach State, 13-3, in the series opener Friday evening at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Long Beach State right-hander Andrew Liebel (2-0) limited the host Bruins (10-6) to three runs (one earned) and four hits in seven innings before 1,013 fans.
UCLA left-hander Tim Murphy (2-1) absorbed the loss, allowing seven runs and seven hits in five innings. Making his fifth start of the season, Murphy tallied nine strikeouts in five innings. Alden Carrithers, Gabe Cohen and Ryan Babineau each registered an RBI for the Bruins.
Long Beach State catcher Travis Howell led the charge for the 49ers (14-3), as he finished 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. Right fielder Jason Corder hit 2-for-5 for Long Beach State, collecting two runs and two RBI.
The 49ers claimed a 5-1 lead with a five-run third inning before UCLA closed the gap to 5-3 with one run in the bottom of the third and another in the fifth inning. Long Beach State added to its margin with eight runs in the final four innings.
Long Beach State's five-run third inning included five singles, one hit-by-pitch and one wild pitch. 49er shortstop Danny Espinosa began the frame, singling through the left side to score Howell from third with one out. After a hit-by-pitch, Corder knocked a single to right field, scoring two more runs. Long Beach State added another run on an RBI-single by first baseman Shane Peterson and on a bases-loaded wild pitch.
The Bruins reduced their deficit with a solo blast to left field by Cohen in the third inning. UCLA cut Long Beach State's advantage to 5-3 with another run in the fifth inning, as Carrithers brought home Babineau with an RBI-groundout.
Long Beach State scored twice in the top of the sixth. Shortstop Steve Tinoco drew a leadoff walk and scored on Howell's double to right-center field. A single up the middle by second baseman Robert Burk plated Howell from second. In the seventh, the 49ers added one more run on an RBI base-hit by Howell.
Long Beach State's four-run eighth inning featured four walks, two base-hits and one wild pitch. The 49ers plated another run in the ninth inning, grounding into a double play with the bases loaded.
UCLA plays a doubleheader at Long Beach State on Saturday, March 22. First pitch of game one at Blair Field is scheduled for 1 p.m. Game two of the doubleheader will begin 30 minutes following game one.
Game Notes: Alden Carrithers extended his hitting streak to eight games...Tim Murphy struck out the first four hitters he faced...freshman catcher Chris Giovinazzo made his collegiate debut, pinch-hitting for Ryan Babineau in the ninth inning - Giovinazzo drew a walk on four pitches.