UCLA Baseball Edged by No. 8 San Diego, 5-3
May 6, 2008
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA baseball team fell to No. 8 San Diego, 5-3, Tuesday evening in a non-conference game at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium. First baseman Casey Haerther led the Bruins (24-21) at the plate, going 3-for-5 with one double and two singles.
San Diego left-hander Ricard Pecina (5-3) limited UCLA to four hits in 5.2 scoreless innings of relief to notch the victory. Pecina, who entered the game with two outs in the bottom of the first, registered 11 strikeouts and walked five hitters for the visiting Toreros (38-13).
UCLA right-hander Jason Novak (1-1) absorbed the loss, allowing one run and two hits in 1.2 innings of relief. Novak tallied three strikeouts without issuing a walk. San Diego's A.J. Griffin logged his team-leading 12th save of the season, striking out three hitters while allowing one hit through the final 2.2 innings.
Trailing 3-1 in the top of the sixth inning, San Diego second baseman Kevin Hansen put the Toreros ahead for good with a three-run homer to left field. The top of the frame began with center fielder Josh Romanski leading off the inning by reaching first on a throwing error by shortstop Brandon Crawford. Right fielder James Meador followed with a single to right before Hansen deposited a 1-and-2 count offering from Novak beyond the left field fence.
UCLA had an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the ninth. Down to their final strike on a 0-and-2 count, the Bruins responded as Haerther belted a double to deep center field. Crawford's ground ball to first base was bobbled by Torero first baseman Jose Valerio, who was beat to the bag by a diving Crawford. Catcher Ryan Babineau blooped a pitch in front of second base, and was thrown out by shortstop Sean Nicol's throw to first.
Hansen went 2-for-4 with one run and a game-high four RBI. Left fielder Kevin Muno went 3-for-3 with one run. San Diego captured the game's first lead, as Muno came around from first to score on a triple to center by Nicol.
UCLA bounced back with three runs in the bottom of the inning. After center fielder Brady Dolan drew a walk and second baseman Alden Carrithers was hit by a pitch, Haerther ripped a single to center field, loading the bases. Crawford grounded into a fielder's choice, sending home Dolan to tie the game. Babineau followed with a two-RBI triple to deep center, sending home Carrithers and Crawford.
The Toreros added their fifth run of the game on Hansen's RBI-single through the left side in the top of the eighth.
The Bruins hit the road for a three-game Pac-10 series at Oregon State beginning Friday, May 9. First pitch at Goss Stadium is slated for 5 p.m. Friday. All three games can be listened to at uclabruins.com.
Game Notes: Casey Haerther recorded his sixth game with three or more hits...Haerther has totaled 18 games with two hits or more...Matt Grace allowed two runs (one earned) and two hits in three innings of relief...Bruin starter Garett Claypool surrendered one run and one hit in two innings, walking three and striking out two hitters...Torero starter Sammy Solis exited after recording two outs in the first inning, having allowed three runs and two hits.