Bruins Rally Past Hurricanes, 7-4

Feb. 11, 2006

Los Angeles - The UCLA baseball team rallied to score four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to secure a come-from-behind victory over No. 21 Miami, 7-4, Saturday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium. With the win, the Bruins improve to 2-3 on the season, while the Hurricanes drop to 4-3.

Down by a score of 4-3 entering the bottom of the eighth, the Bruins got some momentum going on back-to-back walks by seniors Sean Smith and Chris Jensen to start off the inning. Junior Eric Taylor, Jr. laid down a bunt to load the bases after Miami pitcher Raudel Alfonso was unable to get Smith out at third base. Junior Hector Ambriz then pinch hit, and was hit by a pitch to score Smith and tie the game at 3-3.

Freshman Tim Murphy kept the rally going with a pinch hit walk to score pinch runner freshman Blair Dunlap, and freshman Jermaine Curtis followed with a RBI single through the left side to put the Bruins up 6-4. Freshman catcher Ryan Babineau added a RBI single to shortstop to give UCLA its 7-4 cushion.

Junior RHP Brant Rustich (1-0) pitched 1.2 innings of relief work to earn the win, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out two batters.

Miami jumped ahead of UCLA early, scoring a run in the first inning on a sacrifice fly, and another run on a solo home run to right field by Tommy Giles to go up 2-0 in the fourth inning.

UCLA got on the board in the sixth on a solo home run by junior Will Penniall to left-center field to lead off the inning, and a two-out solo bomb to deep center field by junior Tim Stewart to tie the game at 2-2.

Miami's Eddie Rodriguez would break that tie in the top of the seventh inning with a two-out home run, putting the `Canes up 3-2. Miami would load the bases with two outs, but freshman Jason Novak came in to strikeout Danny Valencia to kill the threat.

The Bruins would tie the game at 3-3 on a RBI double down the left field line by Babineau to score sophomore Mike Metzger from second base.

Miami would go up for the last time in the game on a wild pitch by Rustich in the top of the eighth inning.

UCLA and Miami will play the final game of their three-game series on Sunday, Feb. 12 at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Game time is set for 1 p.m.

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