Decker's Two Home Runs Propel UCLA Baseball Past Stanford, 8-5
April 10, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - First baseman Cody Decker belted two home runs and collected a game-high four RBI in a 3-for-4 effort to lead the UCLA baseball team past Stanford, 8-5, on Friday evening at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. The senior from Santa Monica, Calif., twice belted a homer with one runner on base before finishing the game with three runs.
The Bruins (13-18, 6-5 Pac-10) evened their three-game series against the Cardinal (12-13, 6-5 Pac-10) at one game apiece. UCLA dropped a 4-3 decision in 10 innings in the series opener Thursday evening.
On Friday, UCLA right-hander Trevor Bauer (5-3) earned the victory, allowing five runs (four earned) and eight hits in six innings. The freshman from Valencia, Calif., registered five strikeouts and no walks. Left-hander Rob Rasmussen limited Stanford (12-13, 6-5 Pac-10) to one hit in three scoreless innings to record his first career save. Rasmussen tallied five strikeouts and issued four walks.
Stanford left-hander Scott Snodgress (0-2) was tagged with the loss, surrendering three runs and three hits in two innings of relief. Snodgress entered the game after UCLA chased starting right-hander Jordan Pries, who allowed three runs and seven hits in 4.2 innings.
Alongside Decker, center fielder Blair Dunlap and right fielder Chris Giovinazzo helped lead UCLA's offensive charge. Dunlap went 2-for-5 with one RBI and three runs, and Giovinazzo went 2-for-4 with one walk. The Bruins' lineup collected 12 hits in the Pac-10 victory.
Stanford received two-hit efforts from center fielder Joey August, who went 2-for-5 with two runs and one RBI, and from left fielder Toby Gerhart, who went 2-for-4 with one run and one walk.
UCLA claimed an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. After drawing a leadoff walk, second baseman Eddie Murray scored from first base on a double to deep center field by Dunlap. Decker followed with the first of his two homers to left field, pushing the Bruins' cushion to 3-0.
Stanford tied the contest, 3-3, with one run in the bottom of the third inning and two runs in the fourth. First baseman Brent Milleville swatted a solo homer to left-center field in the third. August and Gerhart led off the fourth inning with back-to-back singles. August scored from third on a pop-fly single that fell inside the left-field line. A one-out double to left field by designated hitter Jonathan Kaskow allowed Gerhart to score.
The Cardinal captured a 5-3 lead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Shortstop Jake Schlander led off the frame with a single, advanced to second on a balk, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored from third base on a fielder's choice groundout. Following a single to left, August scored from third on a wild pitch.
UCLA added one run in the top of the sixth, reducing the Bruins' deficit to 5-4. Decker's second homer, a two-run blast to left field, handed the Bruins a 6-5 advantage in the top of the seventh. In that inning, Dunlap reached on a one-out single through the right side before Decker's blast.
The Bruins scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning after loading the bases with nobody out. Pinch-hitter Marc Navarro's sacrifice fly to left field sent home Dunlap, who led off the frame reaching on an error. Catcher Gino Aielli followed with a single to center field, plating Decker from second base.
UCLA and Stanford conclude their three-game Pac-10 series on Saturday. Game time at Sunken Diamond is slated for 1 p.m. A live audio broadcast will be available, free of charge, at uclabruins.com. Saturday's ballgame will also be televised live on CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV).
Game Notes: Cody Decker clubbed his team-leading 11th and 12th home runs of the season...Decker has hit one or more home runs in four of the Bruins' last five ballgames (two at Washington State, one vs. UC Irvine, two vs. Stanford)...Decker registered the fourth two-run home run game of his career...Decker twice hit two homers in one game in 2007 and accomplished the feat in game first of a doubleheader at East Carolina on March 13, 2009...Casey Haerther did not start for the Bruins on Friday after fouling a pitch off his toe (left foot) Thursday evening - he served as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning...his status remains day-to-day.