Janssen's Pitching Pushes Bruins Past Matadors

March 10, 2002

LOS ANGELES - Casey Janssen allowed just one earned run in 6.0 innings to lead the UCLA baseball team to a 6-3 win over Cal State Northridge this afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The strong Matador offense was held to just one run in the first eight innings before getting a two run homer in the ninth by Adam Nikolic. The Bruins avoid the sweep and improve to 12-12, while CSUN drops to 16-7.

The Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first inning. Ryan Rasmussen took the first pitch off of Matador starter Andy Davidson (2-2) and sent it into right centerfield for a double. Ben Francisco doubled off the top of the wall in left center, sending Rasmussen home for the first run of the game. After Francisco stole third, Adam Berry singled to left field and advanced to second base when left fielder Rudy Simpson bobbled the ball. Wes Whisler singled through the right side of the infield, sending Berry home for the third run of the inning.

Rasmussen got the Bruins going again in the second inning. He singled to left center and advanced to second on a Davidson balk. Rasmussen scored when Matador third baseman Ryan Haag couldn't handle the ball that Francisco hit to him.

The Matadors scored their only run off of Janssen in the top of the third. Nikolic singled to right field and stole second base. After Shaun Larkin walked, Eric Verbryke singled to left field, sending Nikolic home for the only Matador run of the first eight innings.

Whisler led off the bottom of the third by getting that run back. He took the first pitch from Davidson and sent it over the right field wall. The home run was Whisler's third of the season, and second of the series. His other home run came last Tuesday against Loyola Marymount.

Berry led off the fifth inning with a walk and stole second base. After Janssen was hit by a pitch, Averill singled through the right side, sending Berry home for the sixth run of the game, giving the Bruins a 6-1 lead that they would hold on to until the ninth inning.

Kevin Jerkens relieved Janssen in the seventh inning, and did not allow a hit in the seventh and eighth innings. He struck out two batters in the eighth, and finished with three strikeouts. Haag led off the ninth with a grounder that bounced over Whisler's head at first base, allowing Haag to get to second. After Jason Gorman's ground out allowed Haag to get to third, Nikolic hit a home run to right field to cut the lead to 6-3. But Jerkens responded by striking out Jason Allec and getting Larkin to fly out to right field to preserve the Bruin win.

Rasmussen, Berry, Whisler and Brandon Averill all finished with two hits each. Janssen struck out seven batters in 6.0 innings, allowing just five hits and an uncharacteristic seven walks. The sophomore right hander had allowed just five walks previous to today's game.

The Bruins will host Pepperdine on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. and UC Irvine at 3:00 p.m. before taking a break for finals until March 23rd when the Bruins travel to Miami for a three game series with the Hurricanes.

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