No. 5 UCLA Baseball Drops Series Finale at No. 17 Arizona, 6-4
April 25, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. - The No. 5 UCLA baseball team fell at No. 17 Arizona, 6-4, in the final game of a three-game Pac-10 series on Sunday afternoon. After having won the first two games of the series on Friday and Saturday, UCLA fell behind by a 6-1 margin in the fifth inning Sunday and could not overcome the deficit.
First baseman Dean Espy led the Bruins (29-7, 7-5 Pac-10) at the plate, going 2-for-5 with one run and one RBI. Shortstop Niko Gallego (1-for-3), designated hitter Blair Dunlap (1-for-4) and center fielder Beau Amaral (1-for-4) each scored one run for UCLA.
Arizona (28-11, 8-7) was led at the plate by shortstop Alex Mejia, who went 3-for-4 with one RBI. Left fielder Bobby Rinard went 1-for-4 with a game-high two runs for the Wildcats.
Neither starting pitcher remained in the game past the fourth inning. Arizona left-hander Bryce Bandilla (4-3) earned the victory in relief of Daniel Workman, allowing two runs and two hits in three innings. Workman gave up one run and three hits through 3.1 innings, recording five strikeouts and two walks. Right-hander Nick Cunningham tallied his third save of the season, allowing one run and two hits in the ninth inning while recording three outs.
UCLA left-hander Rob Rasmussen (6-1) was charged with his first loss of the season, snapping a streak of six victories in his last six starts. Rasmussen allowed four runs (three earned) and a career-high eight hits in 3.2 innings. He recorded three strikeouts and did not issue any walks.
Arizona led 1-0 after the first inning before UCLA tied the game, 1-1, in the second.
The Wildcats scored three two-out runs in the bottom of the fourth to claim a 4-1 lead. Designated hitter Bobby Brown tripled to right field and scored on a double to center field by third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean. A single up the middle by Rinard sent home Mejias-Brean. Mejia dropped a bunt down and an errant throw to first base by a charging Cody Regis allowed Mejias-Brean to score from first base.
Arizona took advantage of two UCLA errors in the sixth inning to score two more runs. Second baseman Robert Refsnyder reached on a fielding error by Espy at first base and moved to second on a walk before scoring on a fielder's choice and ensuing throwing error Gallego. A two-out double to center field by Mejia plated Bobby Rinard.
UCLA cut Arizona's advantage to 6-3 in the top of the seventh. The Bruins loaded the bases before pinch-hitter Trevor Brown was hit by a pitch with two outs, forcing home Gallego. A wild pitch allowed center fielder Beau Amaral to score the Bruins' third run of the day. In the ninth inning, UCLA added one more run on a RBI-groundout from Espy, allowing Dunlap to score from third base.
UCLA returns to action against UC Irvine on Tuesday, April 27. Game time at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium is 6 p.m. Admission to Tuesday's game costs $2, as part of the Bruins' ongoing 'Two-Dollar Tuesday' promotion. Next weekend, UCLA hosts a three-game Pac-10 series against No. 1 Arizona State (April 30-May 2).
Game Notes: Sunday's series finale marked the 500th career game in the nine-year career of John Savage as a collegiate head coach (includes three seasons at UC Irvine, six at UCLA) ... right-hander Erik Goeddel threw a career-high three-plus inning in relief ... left-hander Matt Grace did not allow any hits in 1.1 scoreless innings of relief ... UCLA dropped to 7-3 this spring against top-25 ranked teams (Baseball America) ... the Bruins leave Tucson, Ariz., having won 10 of their last 15 games at Kindall Field and each of their last four series at the venue.