No. 6 UCLA Baseball Outlasts No. 19 Stanford, 7-5, to Win Pac-10 Series
April 3, 2010
LOS ANGELES - Left-hander Rob Rasmussen (4-0) tallied eight strikeouts and no walks through six innings, leading the No. 6 UCLA baseball team past No. 19 Stanford, 7-5, on Saturday before 1,614 at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The win helped UCLA (23-1, 2-1 Pac-10) earn a series victory over Stanford (13-9, 3-3).
Right-hander Dan Klein earned his team-leading sixth save, tossing two scoreless innings. Klein allowed one hit and one walk while recording three strikeouts. The Bruins' closer retired the side in order in the top of the ninth.
Shortstop Niko Gallego led the Bruins' offense, going 3-for-4 with a career-high three runs and one RBI. Left fielder Cody Keefer went 2-for-3 with a game-high three RBI, and designated hitter Blair Dunlap went 2-for-5 with his team-leading 12th double of the season. First baseman Dean Espy improved his team-leading batting average to a .435 mark, going 2-for-3 with one run. Third baseman Cody Regis registered two RBI in the Pac-10 victory.
Stanford left-hander Brett Mooneyham (0-4) was tagged with the loss, surrendering five runs and six hits in three innings. Mooneyham struck out six hitters and issued five walks in his seventh start of the season.
The visiting Cardinal were led at the plate by third baseman Kenny Diekroeger, who went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning. Shortstop Jake Schlander went 1-for-3 with two runs.
Stanford scored one run in the top of the first inning, before UCLA added two runs in the bottom of the frame to lead, 2-1. The Cardinal received a two-out RBI-single to left field by first baseman Stephen Piscotty. The Bruins scored their two runs on a run-scoring single up the middle by Keefer before Regis drew a bases-loaded walk.
UCLA increased its cushion to 4-1, scoring twice in the third. Right Fielder Brett Krill led off with a single to left field and moved to third on a base-hit by first baseman Dean Espy. A one-out single by catcher Steve Rodriguez scored Krill, and a sacrifice bunt to the right side of the infield by third baseman Cody Regis sent home Espy.
The Bruins claimed a 5-1 advantage with one run in the fourth inning. After drawing a leadoff walk, Gallego advanced to third before scoring on a sacrifice fly to center by second baseman Tyler Rahmatulla.
Stanford sliced the Bruins' cushion to 5-3 in the fifth inning, as Diekroeger belted a two-run homer.
UCLA scored twice in the sixth, pushing its margin to 7-3. Dunlap led off with a double and scored on the next at-bat, as Gallego singled to left field. After moving to second on a groundout, Gallego scored the Bruins' seventh run on a single to left by Keefer.
The Cardinal added one pair of runs on a two-RBI single by pinch-hitter Jonathan Kaskow in the top of the eighth, shaving Stanford's deficit to 7-5.
UCLA returns to action against Cal State Fullerton at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Tuesday, April 6. Game time is 6 p.m. Tuesday night's game will be the Bruins' final home contest until they host Oregon, on Friday, April 16. Admission to all Tuesday home games costs $2 for adults and children.
Game Notes: With Saturday's victory, UCLA has now won its last four opening Pac-10 series - the Bruins swept Stanford on the road in 2007, won two of three at Arizona in 2008 and two of three at USC in 2009 ... Rob Rasmussen, who improved his overall record to 4-0, has recorded a 2.95 ERA, collecting 55 strikeouts and 19 walks through 36.2 innings (seven starts) ... Blair Dunlap notched his 12th multiple-hit game, second-most on the team ... Tyler Rahmatulla drew three walks and scored one run ... UCLA has improved its overall record to 23-1, the baseball program's best ever one-loss start to a season (previous best was in 1969, at 16-1).