Baseball Knocks Off No. 1 Cal State Fullerton, 9-3
May 9, 2001
LOS ANGELES - For the third time this year, the Bruins have knocked off the No. 1 team in the nation. Today's victim was Cal State Fullerton, who entered today's game with a ten game winning streak, but the Bruins handed the Titans a 9-3 loss tonight at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Earlier this year, the Bruins defeated then-No.1 USC and Stanford. The Bruins improve to 27-23, keeping their hopes of qualifying for the postseason alive. Cal State Fullerton drops to 38-12.
The Bruins jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first with singles by Ben Francisco and Josh Canales to open the game. A walk handed to Brian Baron loaded the bases, and Francisco scored when Matt Pearl hit into a double play. UCLA added a second run in the second, as Canales drove home Christian Lewis with an RBI single.
Jon Brandt had his first start since April 12 and performed well. In a pre-arranged four innings, Brandt allowed just one hit, and faced just one over the minimum number of batters. He struck out three in the four innings to pick up the win.
In the fourth, the Bruins added a pair of runs. With Canales and Baron at first and second, Titan pitcher Wes Littleton threw three wild pitches during Pearl's at-bat, that allowed the runners to advance and score.
The Titans scored their first run in the fifth, as Brett Kay doubled, advanced to third on a Mike Rouse sacrifice bunt, and scored on a Casey Grzecka passed ball.
The fifth inning was a big inning for the Bruins, as they tacked on five runs to take a commanding 9-1 lead. John Campanella started the inning with a solo home run. Eric Reece singled and Grzecka reached first on an error. Preston Griffin walked to load the bases for Francisco. Francisco hit a ball to deep left center field that cleared the bases for a three RBI double. Francisco advanced to third on a Canales sacrifice bunt and scored the Bruins' final run on a Baron RBI single.
Cal State Fullerton scored another run in the sixth, and added their final run in the seventh on a solo home run by Kay.
Mike Castillo came into the game in the eighth inning for the Bruins, and was almost perfect. He did not allow a single hit, issued just one walk, and struck out two batters to preserve the important Bruin victory.
Francisco finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs. Canales extends his career-high hitting streak to 17 games with a 2-for-3 day, while Baron finished 2-for-4. Brandon Averill picked up two hits, while Eric Reece and Grzecka each had one hit.
The win was an important one, as the Bruins are fighting to stay alive in the postseason race.
Head Coach Gary Adams was not on the bench today, as he was serving a one game suspension for bumping an official in Sunday's game vs. Cal. The suspension was issued by the Pac-10 office. Assistant coach Vince Beringhele was the acting head coach today.
The Bruins host the Oregon State Beavers in a three game series this weekend. Friday's game starts at 6:00 p.m., while the weekend games start at 1:00 p.m. Bobby Roe will get the start on Friday, with Josh Karp going on Saturday. Sunday's starter is TBA.