No. 23 UCLA Baseball Opens Weekend With 9-2 Win Over Vanderbilt
Feb. 26, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The No. 23 UCLA baseball team defeated Vanderbilt, 9-2, in a Dodgertown Classic contest at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Friday evening. First baseman Dean Espy and designated hitter Marc Navarro each registered two hits and two RBI as the Bruins improved to 5-0 for the first time since 1997.
Espy went 2-for-2 with two RBI and one run after coming off the bench as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning. Navarro went 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run. The Bruins also received two RBI on a fifth-inning double by right fielder Brett Krill. Second baseman Tyler Rahmatulla and third baseman Cody Regis each scored two runs.
In a matchup featuring two of the nation's most dominant right-handers, UCLA's Gerrit Cole (2-0) emerged victorious, notching eight strikeouts in five innings. He allowed two runs and four hits, walking two batters.
Vanderbilt's Sonny Gray (1-1) was tagged with the loss, allowing six runs (five earned) and seven hits in 4.1 innings. Gray logged six strikeouts and two walks as the Commodores' starter.
Three pitchers from UCLA's bullpen tallied six strikeouts and scattered three hits through the final four innings. Right-hander Dan Klein struck out the side in order in the top of the ninth to preserve the victory.
UCLA scored one run in the third and another in the fourth before exploding for six runs in the fifth. Shortstop Niko Gallego led off the third with a triple to left-center field before scoring on a groundout by Regis. After leading off the fourth with a double, Rahmatulla scored from third on a groundout by left fielder Cody Keefer.
The Bruins' six-run fifth inning featured one double, four singles and one error. With one out, the Bruins received consecutive singles from Regis, center fielder Beau Amaral and Navarro, who sent home Regis from second base. After a walk by Rahmatulla, Espy bounced a two-RBI pinch-hit single into left field, pushing UCLA's lead to 5-0. A double to right-center field by Krill scored two more runs, before an error by first baseman Curt Casali allowed Krill to score from second base.
The Commodores scored two runs in the sixth inning, slicing UCLA's margin to 8-2. Vanderbilt pushed across one pair of two-out runs with a bases-loaded balk and an RBI-single to shortstop by shortstop Brian Harris.
UCLA scored one run in the sixth inning on an RBI-single to right-center field by Navarro.
The Bruins return to action against Oklahoma State on Saturday, Feb. 27. Game time is slated for 2 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Fans are advised to check uclabruins.com regarding game updates, as heavy rain in the Los Angeles area could push back Saturday's game time.
The Bruins will face USC at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 28. Tickets are available for $5 through Ticketmaster (by clicking here). Fans can also purchase tickets at Dodger Stadium for $10.
Game Notes: Friday night's game marked the first-ever meeting on the diamond between UCLA and Vanderbilt...UCLA last opened a season 5-0 in 1997, as that team won its first seven games...Tyler Rahmatulla and Justin Uribe have each hit safely in UCLA's five games this season...Dean Espy leads UCLA with three multiple-RBI contests.