Crawford's Grand Slam Lifts No. 15 UCLA over East Carolina, 9-7

Feb. 17, 2007

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Los Angeles - Sophomore Brandon Crawford belted a two-out grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning to lead No. 15 UCLA past East Carolina, 9-7, at Jackie Robinson Stadium Saturday afternoon. Crawford finished the afternoon hitting 2-for-4 with five RBI and three runs scored.

Junior Brant Rustich (1-1) picked up the win, and freshman Garett Glaypool notched his first collegiate save. East Carolina's Shane Mathews (0-1) was tagged with the loss.

UCLA (5-4) began its eighth-inning rally after outfielder Mickey Weisser and third baseman Eddie Murray walked. Second baseman Alden Carrithers loaded the bases with a base hit to center field. With two outs, Crawford belted an 0-1 pitch over the left field fence to clear the bases and give the Bruins the lead.

In a contest that featured seven lead changes, East Carolina (2-3) took a 7-5 lead in the top of the eighth. Outfielder Jamie Ray reached first base on a throwing error by third baseman Eddie Murray, stoled second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. With two outs, Jake Dean drove a pinch-hit single to left field, scoring Ray from third and tying the contest 5-5. East Carolina's next two batters - David Forbes and Harrison Eldridge - drew walks to load the bases. Shortstop Dale Mollenhauer picked up two RBI with a single to right field.

East Carolina took the game's first lead, 1-0, in the second inning. With two outs, designated hitter Stephen Batts drove home catcher Corey Kemp with a double down the left field line.

Left fielder Cody Decker answered with a two-run home run in the bottom of the second, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead. Decker's first round-tripper of the season plated designated hitter Cody Decker, who reached first base on a single up the middle.

With runners at first and second in the top of the fifth, Pirate shortstop Dale Mollenhauer reached first on a bunt single to the left side, and all three runners advanced an extra base when pitcher Brendan Lafferty overthrew first baseman Tim Stewart. David Forbes scored on the error to tie the game, 2-2. First baseman Brandon Henderson brought home Harrison Eldridge with a sacrifice to center, and reliever Jason Novak recorded two strikeouts to exit the jam.

Crawford walked to lead off the bottom of the sixth and advanced to second on senior Tim Stewart's base hit to left field. Crawford took third base when Pirate left-hander Dustin Sasser overthrew second base on a pickoff attempt. The Bruins tied the contest, 3-3, when Crawford scored from third on a wild pitch.

Eldridge led off the seventh inning with an inside-the-park home run to give East Carolina the lead, 4-3. Eldridge's hit was a sinking line drive that bounced under a diving Tim Murphy in center field and skipped to the wall.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Bruins added two runs to assume a 5-4 lead. Crawford delivered an RBI-double to left field, scoring second baseman Alden Carrithers to tie the game. Gabe Cohen helped break the 4-4 tie with a double over Eldridge's head in center field, plating Crawford.

UCLA and East Carolina finish the weekend series at 1 p.m. Sunday. The Bruins will send freshman left-hander Gavin Brooks to the mound. East Carolina's will start either Jeff Ostrander or Bailey Daniels.

Game Notes: Crawford's grand slam was UCLA's second of the season; Gabe Cohen nailed a grand slam in UCLA's third game of the season...UCLA baseball celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the 1997 squad's trip to the College World Series prior to Saturday's game; over 20 players, coaches and staff members from that team returned to Jackie Robinson Stadium as the former Bruins threw out ceremonial first pitches to players on the 2007 time temperature reached 86 degrees at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

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