Bruins Break the Streak, Defeat #18 USC 7-4
March 7, 2003
For the first time since February 16th, 2001 the UCLA Baseball team (11-11) defeated #18 USC (8-9), 7-4 in front of 533 fans at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The win ended a streak of 11 straight losses to the Trojans and also marked the Bruins' third victory over a ranked opponent.
It was the first inning that started the Bruin arsenal as they posted five runs on five hits in the first frame. Back-to-back singles from Preston Griffin and Brett McMillan started the game for UCLA. Billy Susdorf would put the Bruins ahead for good with a three-run homer off Trojan starter Brian Bannister, his fourth of the year. Chris Denove continued the rally with a one-out single. After a Hector Ambriz popup, Ryan McCarthy was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second for Brandon Averill. The junior third baseman drove both runners home with a double to left center. After one inning, UCLA led 5-1.
USC posted one run in each of its first three innings, including scoring on a balk in the first and on a wild pitch in the second. However, starter Mike Kunes would calm down to strikeout seven Trojans in five and one-third innings.
In the fifth inning, the Bruins would also post a run as a result of a balk. Wes Whisler hit a one-out single through the right side to give UCLA a base runner. After consecutive walks to Ambriz and McCarthy, Whisler would cross the plate on a Bannister balk.
The Trojans posted their final run in the sixth inning when Spencer Gordon's RBI-double brought in Trevor McAndrews, who had reached on a single.
UCLA added an insurance run in the seventh inning when Ambriz's double down the right field line drove in Denove, who had reached base on his second single of the night.
Kunes earned his fourth win of 2003, allowing four runs on eight hits. Junior Chris Cordeiro picked up his fourth save of the year, not allowing a hit in the ninth and sriking out one.
Along with Denove, Griffin and Matt Thayer each finished with two hits. Susdorf led the team with three RBI, while Averill added two. The series will continue Saturday at 1:00. The game will be televised on Fox Sports West 2.