Bruins Bury Sixth-Ranked Texas, 13-2

Feb. 28, 2003

19 hits, including three home runs, and a nine-run fourth inning led UCLA (9-9) to a 13-2 victory over defending national champion and sixth-ranked Texas (12-4) in the first game of the Kia Baseball Bash at Cal State Fullerton.

The Bruins started off the game strong, with Matt Thayer hitting a one-out double down the left field line in the top of the first. Thayer advanced to third on a ground-out from Billy Susdorf. Wes Whisler followed Susdorf with a walk to give UCLA runners at first and third with two outs. However, a ground-out from Chris Denove ended the Bruin threat.

Another one out hit got UCLA started in the second, when Ryan McCarthy singled to center field. Yet, the next two outs came quickly as McCarthy was out at second on a fielder's choice from Casey Janssen and Brandon Averill struck out.

After Bruin starter Mike Kunes had sat down the Longhorns in the bottom of the third with two straight strikeouts, UCLA got onto the board with a home run from Whisler. His first homer of the year started a nine run inning in which infield hits from Denove and McCarthy and a single from Averill loaded the bases for Preston Griffin. The Long Beach native hit a double to right center, on which all runners would score, to put UCLA ahead 4-0. The rally would be far from over as a double from Thayer scored Griffin from second. Thayer would score on a Susdorf single to left field. A single from Whisler put two runners on for Denove, who hit his third home run of the year to bring the Bruin lead to 9-0.

Kunes would continue to hold Texas at bay, facing only four batters in the bottom of the inning. The Bruins would add another run to their total when Averill hit a solo home run over the center field fence. After four and a half innings, UCLA led 10-0.

Texas cut the UCLA led down to eight in the bottom of the fifth when Joe Ferin hit a two run home run.

The Bruins' bats remained steady in the sixth and regained a ten run lead. Thayer reached base on an error from the third baseman to lead off the inning. After Susdorf struck out, Whisler posted his third hit of the game with an infield single on which Thayer crossed the plate. Denove followed with an single and McCarthy would bring Whisler home with an RBI single.

The offenses cooled in the seventh and eighth innings with both teams being unable to score. The Bruins came close in the eighth with runners at second and third, but the rally ended with a foul fly from Hector Ambriz.

The Bruins tacked on another run in the top of the ninth Griffin's one-put single started the rally. Thayer reached base after being hit by a pitch. With two runners on base, Susdorf brought Griffin home with a single to left.

Releiever David Johnson shut down the Longhorns in the ninth to close out the victory for UCLA.

Kunes lasted seven innings in his third win of the year. The left-hander allowed two runs on six hits, while striking out five.

McCarthy led UCLA, going four-for-five with an RBI. Whisler was three-for-five on the day with three RBI and three runs score. Denove led the team in RBI with four, while going three-for five with two runs scored. Averill also joined the three hit club, with three hits, two runs scored and one RBI.

UCLA will be back in action for it second game of the tournament in a match-up with 21st-ranked Tulane at 2:30 tomorrow at Goodwin Field.

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