Keefer's Walk-off Home Run Leads No. 11 UCLA Baseball to Sweep of USC
May 16, 2010
LOS ANGELES - Left fielder Cody Keefer belted a two-out, two-run walk off home run to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead the No. 11 UCLA baseball team past USC, 2-1, allowing the host Bruins (37-11, 13-8) to sweep the Trojans (23-28, 5-16) in the three-game Pac-10 series on Sunday before 1,531 at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Keefer's late heroics came after the Bruins were down to their last out with nobody on base. Right fielder Brett Krill lined a 1-and-0 count pitch to right field for a base-hit after UCLA's first two hitters popped out and grounded out, respectively. With the count at 2-and-1, Keefer sent a line-drive shot sailing over the right field fence and was mobbed by his teammates as he arrived at home plate to score the game-winning run.
'Off the bat, I knew that I had made good contact,' Keefer said. 'I knew the result would be productive, even if that ball didn't go out. In that situation, it's all about having the right mentality and staying relaxed.'
Keefer went 1-for-3 with the two-run homer, and Krill went 2-for-4 with one run.
In a game marked by strong pitching and defense, UCLA had been staring down at potentially being shut out for the first time all season. Right-hander Dan Klein (4-0) earned the victory, recording three outs the top of the ninth inning.
Right-hander Chad Smith (4-6) absorbed the loss, allowing two runs and four hits in 3.2 innings in relief. Trojans' starter Kevin Couture limited UCLA to two hits in five scoreless innings, striking out four batters and walking one.
Left-hander Rob Rasmussen allowed one run and six hits through eight innings as the Bruins' starting pitcher. The southpaw from Arcadia, Calif., struck out eight batters and had no walks in a no-decision. Left-hander Matt Grace allowed one hit and had one strikeout in the eighth inning.
USC got on the board with a solo homer from designated hitter Chad Kreuter in the top of the fourth inning. Kreuter and second baseman Adam Landecker each went 2-for-4.
UCLA won all four games in the season series against USC, sweeping the three-game Pac-10 set for the second time in four seasons. The Bruins won all three games in the Pac-10 series at Dedeaux Field in 2007. With Sunday's victory, UCLA has won 13 of its last 16 meetings against USC.
The Bruins return to action at home against UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday, May 18. Game time at Jackie Robinson Stadium is 1 p.m. An audio broadcast will be available online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com. UCLA's John Ramey will have the call live from Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Tickets cost $2 for adults and children to the Bruins' final Tuesday home contest.
Game Notes: UCLA won its 37th regular-season game, tied for the second-most regular-season victories in school history (UCLA's 1987 ballclub also won 37 games) ... Keefer's walk-off home run marked UCLA's first such round-tripper since Gabe Cohen connected for a walk-off home run in the Bruins' season-opener against Oklahoma on Feb. 23, 2008 (first game of a doubleheader) ... UCLA collected its fourth walk-off win of the spring ... Beau Amaral's 15-game hitting streak came to an end.