UCLA Baseball Edged by No. 12 Pepperdine, 5-4
March 3, 2009
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA baseball team fell to No. 12 Pepperdine, 5-4, Tuesday evening at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium in a non-conference tilt. Pepperdine (6-2) broke a 4-4 deadlock when third baseman Colin Rooney belted a two-out solo homer to left-center field in the top of the ninth inning.
Pepperdine right-hander Cole Cook (1-0) limited the Bruins (2-7) to one run and two hits in four innings of relief to secure his first collegiate victory. UCLA right-hander Trevor Bauer (0-3) absorbed the loss despite limiting the Waves to one solo homer in 1.1 innings of relief. Bauer finished with two strikeouts.
Pepperdine's Nick Gaudi struck out the side in order in the ninth inning to notch his first save of the season.
In a close ballgame lasting just under four hours, Pepperdine claimed the game's first lead with one run in the top of the second. Catcher Trent Diedrich led off with a double inside the right-field foul line, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a single to left by first baseman Ryan Heroy.
UCLA tied the ballgame, 1-1, in the bottom of the inning. After leading off the frame with a single to center field, designated hitter Cody Decker scored from third base on a groundout hit by catcher Steve Rodriguez.
The Bruins added two runs in the bottom of the fourth to secure a 3-1 advantage. With two outs, Murray lifted a double to the gap in right-center to score Chris Giovinazzo from third and Gino Aielli from first.
Pepperdine answered with three runs in the top of the fifth to assume a 4-3 cushion. With two outs and the bases loaded, Rooney ripped a single to center field, sending home left fielder David Harris and Diedrich. Center fielder Brian Humphries followed with a line drive base-hit to score first baseman Ryan Heroy.
The Bruins used a two-out rally to tie the contest, 4-4, in the bottom of the eighth. Center fielder Blair Dunlap reached first base with a bunt single down the third-base line and stole second base. Gallego followed with a single up the middle to send home Dunlap.
UCLA hosts an exhibition game on Wednesday against Keio University (Japan). Game time at Jackie Robinson Stadium is 4 p.m. The Bruins open a three-game series at No. 16 Oklahoma on Friday, March 6. Game time at Oklahoma's L. Dale Mitchell Park is slated for 1 p.m. (PT).
Game Notes: Including tonight's game against Pepperdine, four of the Bruins' seven losses have been by one run (two in extra innings)...Tuesday's game marked UCLA's fourth consecutive contest against a top-15 opponent...Pepperdine earned its first victory at Jackie Robinson Stadium since Feb. 2, 1999, snapping UCLA's home win streak against the Waves at eight games...junior Casey Haerther's career-long hitting streak ended at 19 games...sophomore Matt Grace limited Pepperdine to one run and five hits in 3.2 innings, making his second start of the season...senior Brendan Lafferty allowed four hits in three scoreless innings of relief, lowering his season ERA to 0.87 (in 10.1 innings, all in relief).