UCLA Baseball Downs Cal State Fullerton, 11-4, in NCAA Regionals
May 31, 2008
FULLERTON, Calif. - Shortstop Brandon Crawford went 2-for-5 with one home run, three RBI and two runs and right-hander Charles Brewer (9-4) allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings to lead the UCLA baseball team past Cal State Fullerton, 11-4, Saturday evening at Goodwin Field.
The win advanced the Bruins (33-25) to the Fullerton Regional championship, where they will await the winner of Sunday's first game between No. 3-seed Virginia and the top-seeded Titans (38-20).
Eight of the nine Bruins in the starting lineup registered at least one hit. Center fielder Blair Dunlap went 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI, and third baseman Jermaine Curtis helped key UCLA's offense with a 2-for-5 effort and three RBI. Second baseman Alden Carrithers went 1-for-3 with one RBI and two runs.
Brewer picked up his team-leading ninth victory of the season. Right-hander Jason Novak limited the Titans to one unearned run and four hits in four innings of relief to record his team-leading fourth save. Novak compiled four strikeouts and issued just one walk.
Titan right-hander Jeff Kaplan (11-2) was tagged with his second loss of the season, his first since a 12-5 defeat at Stanford on Feb. 29. Kaplan allowed seven runs (six earned) and six hits in three innings. Cal State Fullerton used three relief pitchers, as left-hander Jason Dovel finished the game for the Titans, hurling 1.2 hitless innings.
UCLA's offense struck early and often, totaling 10 runs through the first four innings. First baseman Casey Haerther started the charge with a two-run homer to right in the bottom of the first, handing UCLA a 2-0 advantage.
The Bruins' lead swelled to 5-0 with a three-run second. Catcher Ryan Babineau and designated hitter Tim Murphy began the inning with consecutive walks and Dunlap reached safely on an infield single to load the bases. Curtis drilled a double to left field, scoring Babineau and Murphy, before Carrithers' sacrifice fly plated Dunlap.
Cal State Fullerton scored its first run in the top of the third on an RBI-double by shortstop Christian Colon, who finished the game going 2-for-5 with one run and one RBI.
UCLA added two runs in the bottom of the third, the first off a solo homer to deep center by Crawford. The Bruins' starting shortstop belted the eighth pitch of his at-bat to the deepest part of Goodwin Field, handing UCLA a 6-1 advantage. The Bruins tacked on one more run in the inning on a double down the left-field line by Dunlap, scoring right fielder Brady Dolan from second base. Brady Dolan from second base.
The Titans added another run in the top of the fourth on an RBI-single by catcher Dustin Garneau.
The Bruins responded with a three-run fourth. Left fielder Mickey Weisser opened the frame with a double to right field and Carrithers followed with a single to center. After Weisser was caught in a pickle between home and third on a fielder's choice by Haerther, putting Haerther at second and Carrithers at third, Crawford doubled off the left-field wall, scoring both runners. Crawford scored from third base on an ensuing wild pitch, handing UCLA a 10-2 lead.
Cal State Fullerton scored in the top of the fifth on an RBI-single to left field by designated hitter Brian Wilson. UCLA added its final run in the seventh inning on a run-scoring base-hit by Curtis. The Titans scored their fourth run of the evening in the eighth inning.
Game Notes: Charles Brewer became just the fourth UCLA pitcher in the last 11 years to record nine or more wins in a single - Jim Parque (13 in 1997), Josh Karp (10 in 2000) and Tyson Brummett (10 in 2007) are the other three pitchers...Crawford's belted his first career postseason homer and doubled his career postseason RBI total to six...the Bruins' 11-run total marked the most by a UCLA team in postseason play since June 5, 2004, when the Bruins downed Oklahoma, 17-7, at Bricktown Ballpark (Oklahoma City, Okla.)...UCLA snapped a seven-game losing streak to Cal State Fullerton, recording the victory at Goodwin Field as the designated home team.