No. 11 UCLA Baseball Downs USC in Series Opener, 13-7
May 14, 2010
LOS ANGELES - Designated hitter Blair Dunlap went 3-for-4 with two RBI, and four Bruins each had two hits as the No. 11 UCLA baseball team defeated USC, 13-7, before 1,707 at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium in the opening contest of a three-game Pac-10 series on Friday night.
UCLA (35-11, 11-8) registered its 11th victory in its last 14 meetings against USC (23-26, 5-14). The Bruins have not lost a season series to their crosstown rival since 2005. UCLA has won three of the last four season series, as the two schools split four ballgames in 2008.
Second baseman Tyler Rahmatulla went 2-for-6 with two RBI and three runs, and right fielder Brett Krill went 2-for-3 with three runs and one RBI. Beau Amaral went 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI and first baseman Justin Uribe went 2-for-2 with two runs and one RBI.
Right-hander Gerrit Cole earned the victory, allowing five runs and six hits through five-plus innings. Cole (8-2) recorded two strikeouts and issued four walks. USC right-hander Ben Mount (5-4) was tagged with the loss, allowing seven runs (three earned) and eight hits in three-plus innings. Mount walked five and struck out two.
USC first baseman Ricky Oropesa led the Trojans at the plate, going 4-for-5 with one homer, four RBI and one run. The Trojans also received two hits each from shortstop Joe DePinto (2-for-4, two runs), center fielder Mike O'Neill (2-for-4) and left fielder Keith Castillo (2-for-3, two runs).
The Bruins jumped to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and never trailed in the contest. Rahmatulla scored Amaral on a ground ball to the shortstop, and reached safely (advancing to second) on a throwing error by USC shortstop Joe De Pinto. Uribe's double to right-center plated Rahmatulla. A triple to the wall in center field by Krill scored Uribe. Left fielder Cody Keefer singled to right field with two outs, sending home Krill.
The Trojans sliced UCLA's advantage in half with a two-run second inning.
UCLA extended its cushion to 7-2 with one run in the third inning and two in the fourth. Uribe opened the bottom of the third with a walk, moved to second and third bases on consecutive sacrifice bunts before scoring groundball fielder's choice by shortstop Niko Gallego. With Dunlap aboard second base in the fourth inning, Rahmatulla sent an RBI-double to right field. After moving to third on a walk, Rahmatulla scored as Krill grounded into a double play.
USC added two runs in the top of the fifth, reducing the Trojans' deficit to 7-4. Oropesa belted two-RBI double to the gap in left-center field with one out, sending home O'Neill and DePinto.
UCLA scored one run in the bottom of the fifth to lead 8-4, before USC answered with one run in the top of the sixth. The Bruins pushed their margin to 11-5 with a three-run sixth inning. Two of UCLA's sixth-inning runs came on a two-out fielder's choice by catcher Steve Rodriguez.
Oropesa's two-run homer to right-center field in the top of the seventh cut UCLA's advantage to 11-7.
The Bruins added their final two runs in the bottom of the eighth on a two-run single by Dunlap.
UCLA and USC resume their series at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Saturday. Game time is 2 p.m. Fans unavailable to attend can listen live, free of charge, at UCLA's athletics website - uclabruins.com. John Ramey will have the call, live from Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Game Notes: UCLA reached the 35-win plateau on Friday night for the first time since 2004, when the Bruins finished that season with a 35-29 overall record after going 2-2 at the NCAA Regional in Oklahoma City ... John Savage reached the 35-win mark for the first time in his nine-year head coaching career (previously went 34-23-1 in third season as head coach at UC Irvine) ... Gerrit Cole logged his team-leading eighth victory of the spring ... Beau Amaral extended his hitting streak to a season-high 14 games.