Bruins Host USC With Lexus Gauntlet On The Line

May 23, 2002

This Week:
Friday, May 24, UCLA vs. USC, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 25, UCLA vs. USC, 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 26, UCLA vs. USC, 1:00 p.m.

Bruins Host Trojans in Final Series: UCLA wraps up the year with a three game series at Jackie Robinson Stadium against cross-town rival USC. The Lexus Gauntlet is on the line this weekend, and UCLA needs to win one game to secure the trophy. USC is in first place in the Pac-10 and needs to win two games to assure itself at least a tie for first place, and a sweep to win the conference outright. The Trojans are coming off of a series loss to Arizona State but have a 14-7 Pac-10 record. Sunday is Senior Day, and the six seniors on the roster will be honored. Josh Arhart, Adam Berry, Casey Grzecka, Nick Lyon, Rashad Parker and Ryan Rasmussen will all be playing their final college games this weekend.

Whisler Invited to Team USA Trials: Freshman Wes Whisler has been added to the group of college baseball players invited to try out for Team USA. Whisler was one of the nine players announced on Wednesday, added to the previous 19 invited. The team will be selected from the final group of 36. The trials are in Tucson, AZ, from June 18 through June 23. The National Team will begin its season on June 24 and will finish the summer at the FISU World Championships in Italy from August 3-11.

Whisler Breaks Freshman Homer Record in Loss to CS Fullerton: Wes Whisler hit his 16th home run of the season, breaking the freshman home run record, as UCLA fell to Fullerton 11-4 on Tuesday. The Bruins allowed eight runs in the fifth inning, six were unearned. UCLA had a 4-2 lead early on, but the Titans took advantage of two Bruin errors in the fifth for the win. Before the game was played, the Bruins and the Titans finished the ninth inning of the successfully protested April 23rd contest. Neither team scored in the one inning played, so it will be recorded as a 7-6 Titan win.

Bruins Take One Vs. Stanford: UCLA pulled out one win in the series with Stanford. After Jeremy Guthrie shutout the Bruins, 11-0 on Friday, UCLA responded with a 9-4 win on Saturday. Wes Whisler allowed one earned run in 6.0 innings, and hit two home runs, including a grand slam to help the Bruins win. Billy Susdorf hit a two-RBI bases loaded single to give the Bruins a 5-4 advantage and the Whisler grand slam preserved the win. However, on Sunday, Stanford took advantage of a tired UCLA bullpen and scored 11 runs in the final three innings to take a 17-4 win.

Berry Named Dick Howser Semifinalist: Senior Adam Berry has been named one of the 40 semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy given to the top player in college baseball. Berry leads the Pac-10 in home runs with 17 and leads UCLA in RBI.

Whisler Honored: Freshmen Wes Whisler was named Pac-10 Co-Player of the Week for May 6-12 after hitting .388 with three home runs to lead UCLA to a 3-1 week. He had multiple hits in three of the four games and extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He had seven RBI and six runs and his 13 home runs is two short of the freshman record of 15, set by Chase Utley in 1998.

Strong Pitching Leads Bruins to Win over UCR: UCLA used six pitchers, but limited UCR to just three runs in the 4-3 win. Chris Cordeiro got the save by shutting out the Highlanders in the final 2.1 innings and preserving the one run lead that the Bruins earned in the sixth inning.

Bruins Take Series vs. Arizona: UCLA used a strong offensive presence to make up for inconsistent defense and pitching to win the series with Arizona. The Bruins lost game one, 10-9, in 10 innings. UCLA allowed eight runs in the bottom of the first inning, as Mike Kunes allowed eight runs on five hits and a walk. He couldn't get out of the first inning. But the offense battled back, tying the game in the sixth inning, but an unearned run cost the Bruins the win. UCLA responded with a strong pitching effort from Wes Whisler in the 5-3 win in game two. Warren Trott was 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs, and Billy Susdorf was 2-for-3 with a double and his first career home run. The Sunday game was a demonstration of the Bruin bullpen. After allowing nine unearned runs in the first inning, the pitching settled down. The offense was consistent throughout the game, led by Casey Grzecka's 5-for-6 game. The senior added three RBI and five runs, including his second home run of the season. Brandon Averill was 4-for-6 with four RBI, while Whisler was 2-for-5 with three RBI, two runs and his 13th home run of the season.

Bruins Rally For Win over 49ers: It was another close game at Jackie Robinson Stadium, except this time things finally went the Bruins' way. UCLA took advantage of two 49er errors in the third inning to take a 5-4 lead for much of the game. The Beach went ahead 6-5 in the top of the eighth, but the Bruins rallied in the bottom of the inning to take the lead. Ryan McCarthy and Rashad Parker hit RBI doubles to give the Bruins the lead, and Chris Cordeiro kept the Dirtbags scoreless in the top of the ninth for his first save of the year.

Kunes Honored: Mike Kunes was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week after his three-hit complete game victory over Washington on May 3. He allowed just one run, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, and struck out seven batters. He no-hit eight of the nine Huskies in the lineup. It is the first honor of Kunes' career.

Bruins Struggle in Washington: Mike Kunes put together UCLA's best pitching performance of the season, allowing just three hits and one run to lead UCLA to an 8-1 win on Friday night against Washington. The offense handed Shawn Kohn just his third loss of the season, scoring eight runs off of the previous Pac-10 Pitcher of the week. The Bruins lost a close one on Saturday. Adam Berry tied the game in the top of the ninth with a pinch hit solo home run, but the Huskies rallied to win in the bottom of the ninth on a bloop single to right field. Washington took command of Sunday's game early and led throughout.

Offensive Explosion In Santa Barbara: The Bruins had a season-high 22 hits in an 18-13 win over UC Santa Barbara last Tuesday. Josh Arhart led the way with two home runs, going 4-for-6 with five RBI. Rashad Parker was 4-for-6 with a home run and two doubles, and Ryan Rasmussen was 4-for-6 with three runs. The two teams combined to use 15 pitchers in a game that lasted almost four hours. The Bruins were down 5-1 after three innings, but scored 17 runs in the last six innings for the win. The team had three home runs, two doubles and six doubles,raising its team batting average .005 points, and its slugging percentage .012 points.

Bruins Drop Series To Washington State: UCLA picked up a win in game one of the series with Washington State, but dropped the next two. The difference was a strong pitching performance by starter Mike Kunes. On Friday night, he went 6.1 innings, and allowed just one earned run. Doug Silva finished off the game by allowing just one hit and no runs in the final 2.1 innings, and Wes Whisler hit two home runs for the 5-3 win. On Saturday, Whisler suffered his first Pac-10 loss of the season, allowing four earned runs in 4.1 innings. The defense behind him committed three errors which led to seven unearned runs. Sunday was a similar story, as starter Chris Cordeiro allowed four earned runs in 3.1 innings. The Bruin offense stalled and the defense made another three errors which led to three unearned runs in the 9-6 loss.

Wild One vs. Cal State Fullerton: Even before Gary Adams submitted his protest, the game against Cal State Fullerton was one of the strangest of the year. UCLA, ranked 15th in the nation in fielding percentage and had committed just three errors in the previous six games, committed two errors in the first two innings of the game. UCLA also used a group of pitchers that hadn't seen much action this season, so there were a lot of new faces on the mound. The Bruins could not manage a hit until the fourth inning, but made up a 6-0 deficit by scoring five runs in the fourth and fifth innings, including a two-run home run by Josh Arhart. The lead was still one run down in the ninth inning when the Titans batted out of order after replacing their second baseman with the pitcher. CSF added two more runs in the top of the ninth, and the Bruins could only manage one run in the bottom of the inning for a 9-7 loss.

Series Win Costly at Oregon State: UCLA fell in game one of the series, 9-8, but responded with a 6-1 win on Saturday. Wes Whisler threw a four-hit complete game to improve to 3-0 in Pac-10 play. With the series tied, 1-1, the Bruins came from behind to score six runs in the final two innings for the 9-7 win. Josh Arhart was 4-for-5 with three doubles. Although the Bruins won two games at Oregon State, the trip proved to be costly, as Ben Francisco and Casey Janssen were both hurt on the trip. Francisco broke his collarbone and will be out 4-6 weeks, and Janssen's knee injury will keep him out for the rest of the season.

Gary Adams Picks Up Career Win No. 1100 at Riverside: UCLA Head Coach Gary Adams guided his team to victory for the 1100th time at UC Riverside. The Bruins put together a team effort to pick up the 4-2 win. Seven pitchers were used to limit the Highlanders to just two runs, and the Bruins got clutch hitting from Ben Francisco, as well as freshmen Ryan McCarthy and Billy Susdorf.

Three Days, Three Very Different Games: The series with ASU featured an extra-inning nailbiter, and two blowouts. Unfortunately for the Bruins, they were only able to pull out one win against the Sun Devils. Rod Allen hit an RBI single in the top of the 11th to give ASU a win in game one, and the Bruins responded the next day by blowing out the Sun Devils, 10-2. Josh Arhart was 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI and two runs. Sunday's game was an ASU blowout, with the Bruins falling behind 11-2 after four innings. Casey Janssen suffered just his second loss in eight starts.

Wacky Weekend At Cal To Start Conference Play: After dropping Friday's game to Cal, 5-3, the Bruins responded by destroying the Bears, 19-2 on Saturday. The Bruins put together a great pitching performance by Wes Whisler with an offensive onslaught led by Adam Berry's 3-for-5 performance. The senior hit his 14th home run of the year and added a double to finish with four RBI. Chris Jensen was 3-for-3 with two walks, and Ryan Rasmussen was 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Sunday's game was a combination of both games. Casey Janssen was not his usual self on the mound, but the Bruins responded by scoring the game-tying run in the top of the ninth. With two runners on, and a 2-2 count, Josh Arhart hit a single through the right side that sent Rasmussen home from second base. Doug Silva pitched an amazing 6.1 innings of relief, retiring 20 of 21 batters he faced, but he couldn't get past the 15th inning. After not allowing a hit in his first 6.1 innings, the junior allowed three straight singles, and a grand slam home run ended the game in a 10-6 California victory.

Sweep Makes Miami a Trip to Forget: For the third time this season, UCLA was swept in a series. This time, it happened in Miami as the Bruins took on the defending NCAA Champions. Things started out well in game one of the series, as the Bruins took a 7-1 lead after the top of the fifth, but Miami came back to to within one run entering the bottom of the ninth, and a walk by closer Billy Susdorf allowed the Hurricanes to win, 8-7. It would be the only game of the series that the Bruin bats were hot. Ben Francisco was 2-for-5 with a bases clearing triple, and Chris Jensen was 2-for-5 with his first collegiate home run. Jensen started all three games of the series in left field for an injured Adam Berry. Berry was able to DH in the final two games of the series. After the Bruins lost 8-2 in game two, Casey Janssen put together his best pitching performance of the season. The sophomore righty struck out a career-high 12 batters and allowed just one earned run on seven hits in 7.0 innings. He did not walk a single batter, but the defense behind him had three errors that led directly to three runs. The offense could not put together enough hits to score more than one run in the game.

Berry Named Pac-10 Player of the Week: Senior Adam Berry was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for Mar. 5-12. He hit .500 (9-for-18) with four home runs and 11 RBI in four games. He hit two home runs in the Bruins' second game of the Northridge series and added an outfield assist to throw a runner out at home plate. He also stole two bases.

Bruins Split Midweek Games Before Break: After defeating Pepperdine, the Bruins fell to UC Irvine last week to complete play before the final exam break. Adam Berry continued his home run tear, hitting two home runs in his only two at-bats of the week against Pepperdine. Mike Kunes allowed just one earned runs in 5.0 innings to pick up his fifth win of the season, and Brandon Averill was 2-for-2 with a home run in the win. UC Irvine swept the series with the Bruins with a second 6-4 victory. The Bruins committed three errors on the first three plays of the game, allowing three unearned runs in the first inning, but managed to tie the game with a run in the seventh inning to make the score 4-4. But the Anteaters scored two runs in the eighth off of reliever Kevin Jerkens to hand the Bruins the loss. Ryan Rasmussen was 3-for-4 with a triple in the game.

Matadors Take Two Against Bruins: Cal State Northridge took two games from UCLA, winning on Friday and Saturday before the Bruins pulled out the Sunday win. Adam Berry's three run home run in the top of the ninth in game one closed the gap to one run, but the Bruin rally fell short. On Saturday, UCLA fell behind 9-2, but clawed its way back to take a 10-9 lead after the eighth inning. But CSUN hit two solo home runs in the bottom of the ninth for the dramatic win. Casey Janssen held the hot hitting Matadors to just one run in 6.0 innings to lead the Bruins to a 6-3 win in the final game. The Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first, and didn't look back. In the series, Adam Berry hit three home runs and was 7-for-15 in the series with 9 RBI. Wes Whisler hit .625 with two home runs and Ben Francisco was 7-for-14 with two home runs and two stolen bases.

Bruins Make It Look Easy In the Big Easy: UCLA didn't let the elements hamper its stay in New Orleans, winning its series with Tulane, 2-1. After Friday's game was postponed because of heavy rain, the Bruins came out ready to play on Saturday. They won game one of the doubleheader 9-7. The Bruins had timely hitting, and Billy Susdorf was able to hold off the Green Wave offense to pick up his first save of the season. Casey Grzecka was 2-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI, all with two outs. The Green Wave stranded 16 runners on base. Game two was a pitching display by Tulane's Nick Bourgeois. He limited the Bruins to just four hits and one run, an RBI single by Susdorf. UCLA took advantage of five Tulane errors in Sunday's win. With temperatures in the 30's and 20 mph winds, the Bruins were able to jump out to a 10-1 lead after the top of the fourth, and the Bruin pitchers held Tulane scoreless in the final five innings for the series win. Ben Francisco was 4-for-5 with two RBI, three runs and three stolen bases, including stealing home. Casey Janssen picked up his third win of the season, allowing just four hits and two earned runs in 6.0 innings, and he went 3-for-5 with two RBI at the plate.

USC Sweep: It was a dark weekend in Westwood, as the Bruins were swept by USC in a non-conference series at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Chris Cordeiro pitched his first ever complete game, but took the tough loss as the Bruin offense was ineffective in the 1-0 loss. The sophomore pitcher allowed the one run on a solo home run on the second pitch of the game. As much as Friday's game was a pitching showcase, Saturday's game was not. The Bruins allowed 26 runs- the most ever in the Gary Adams' era. Eight pitchers played for UCLA, and starter Mike Kunes suffered the loss, allowing eight runs on 10 hits in 1.2 innings. Sunday was a better effort, but the Bruins still fell short. Adam Berry tied the game in the seventh inning with a solo home run, but the Trojans scored three unanswered runs in the final two innings for the win. Casey Janssen looked strong in his third start of the season.

Aloha: Hello Hilo. UCLA arrived in Hilo on Tuesday night and had an easy time with Hawaii-Hilo on game one, allowing just one run in the eighth inning in the 9-1 victory. David Johnson allowed just one hit and shut out the Vulcans in 5.0 innings in his first career start. Several position players also earned their first career starts, including Chris Jensen (3-for-5, 3 RBI) and Billy Susdorf (2-for-5, 3 RBI). The next morning, the Bruins drove to Kona to play the Vulcans again, and it was a similar result. UCLA held Hilo scoreless until the eighth inning behind Wes Whisler's three hit shutout in 7.0 innings. The freshman from Noblesville, IN, had five strikeouts in his first career start. Matt Thayer led the Bruins with three hits and four other Bruins had two hits each.

Aloha Part II: Goodbye Honolulu. While the Bruins found success on the big island, the Rainbows in Oahu were not as hospitable. The University of Hawaii swept UCLA in three games, with two of the losses coming in extra innings. Chris Cordeiro suffered his first loss of the season in game one of the series, allowing five runs on nine hits in 5.0 innings. The defense behind the groundball pitcher struggled with the astroturf infield, committing two errors. Down 6-2 entering the ninth, the Bruins rallied in the top of the ninth with two runs, but couldn't get any closer. Game two was a tough loss, as the game stayed close throughout. Things were all tied at the end of seven innings, with Mike Kunes allowing just one run to the Rainbows through seven. The Bruins took leads in the top of the eighth, ninth and 11th innings, but the Rainbows answered in the bottom of each inning, finally bettering the Bruins in the bottom of the 11th with the deciding run. Josh Arhart was set to be the hero, driving in two runs in the ninth and a run in the 11th that put the Bruins ahead, but the pitching couldn't stop the Bows. Ben Francisco was 3-for-5 with two runs and two stolen bases. Sunday's game was a repeat finish for the Rainbows, as things were all tied up after nine. David Johnson shut down the Rainbow offense, allowing just two hits in the final 3.1 innings of the regular nine innings, but Bryan Bock hit a walk off home run off of Mike Castillo to seal the sweep. Francisco had another spectacular performance, going 4-for-6 with three RBI and two runs, while Ryan McCarthy was perfect at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two runs.

Adams Picks Up Win #900 As Bruins Win Series Over FAU: UCLA Head Coach picked up his 900th win as the UCLA Head Coach on Sunday when the Bruins defeated Florida Atlantic to win the series. In his 28th season in Westwood, Adams has compiled a 901-730-7 record. After a disasterous 23-13 loss on Friday night, the Bruin pitching staff was phenomenal in its next three games. Chris Cordeiro set the tone for the team, shutting out FAU in his 7.2 innings on Saturday. Mike Kunes picked up where Cordeiro left off, allowing just two earned runs in 7.0 innings, and Casey Janssen completed the turnaround on Monday when he allowed two unearned runs in 6.0 innings in the win over LMU. Chris Cordeiro had a dominating outing against FAU. The sophomore was perfect going into the fifth inning, and only walked one batter in 7.2 innings. He left the game with seven strikeouts, a career-high, and allowed just four hits. The Bruin offense was not quite as successful, but was able to put together a string of hits to score the deciding runs. Three of the four runs were driven home by sacrifice flies. Josh Arhart was the only Bruin with more than one hit. Mike Kunes picked up where Cordeiro left off, pitching a career-high 7.0 innings and allowing just two earned runs. Casey Grzecka was 2-for-4 with a career-high four RBI, and Arhart hit his first home run of the season. Casey Janssen continued the pitching trend on Monday against Loyola Marymount. The sophomore who completes the regular starting rotation allowed just two unearned runs in 6.0 innings on just six hits. He also struck out six batters. Wes Whisler had his best outing so far, going 3-for-4 with two RBI. Arhart continued to be hot at the plate, finishing with three hits. Freshman Kevin Conlin was 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Ben Francisco Named UCLABruins.Com Student-Athlete of the Week: Junior centerfielder Ben Francisco was named UCLA athlete of the week after he batted .562 with two home runs and 9 RBI in the first four games of the season. He had a 1.062 slugging % and hit two doubles. This is his first athlete of the week honor of his career.

Bruins Win First Series: UCLA won its first series of the year against Gonzaga. The Bruins won game one behind strong pitching by Mike Kunes and Kyle Wilson. The junior lefty allowed just one earned run in 5.0 IP in his first start of the year, and the newcomer Wilson allowed just a single run to pick up the first save of his career. Casey Janssen went 3-for-4 with two RBI and the bottom three in the order all went 2-for-4. The offense was present, but the pitching struggled in Saturday's game, as the Bruins allowed 14 runs on 16 hits. Freshman David Johnson was tagged with the loss as he allowed the final four runs of the game (only two were earned). Adam Berry had a strong day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with UCLA's first home run of the season and double. Ben Francisco also gathered three hits and scored twice. Sunday's game was a different story. The Bruins were finally able to pull together the hitting and the pitching, Casey Janssen had a solid pitching performance, allowing just two runs in 5.0 IP, and Francisco had a career day at the plate. He was 4-for-4 with two home runs (a two-run shot and a grand slam) to finish with a career-high six RBI. He also had a double and scored four times.

Season Opener: The 2002 season got off to a rocky start when the Bruins fell to UC Irvine, 6-4. The pitchers looked strong, as Chris Cordeiro allowed just two earned runs and struck out five in 4.0 innings in his first career start. Mike Davern pitched the final two innings well, not allowing a hit or a walk. The Bruin offense struggled though, striking out 13 times in its first game. In seven innings, the Bruins sent the minimum three batters to the plate. Freshmen Kevin Conlin (3B) and Wes Whisler (1B) became the first freshmen to start in the opener since 1999 when Randall Shelley (1999-2001) started at the hot corner.

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