Babineau's Pinch-Hit Double Lifts No. 3 UCLA Past St. Mary's, 7-6

March 8, 2008

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LOS ANGELES - Junior Ryan Babineau's pinch-hit two-RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning propelled the No. 3 UCLA baseball team past St. Mary's, 7-6, Saturday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Babineau's two-bagger to left field broke a 5-5 tie and helped the Bruins (7-3) win the first two games of the three-game set against the visiting Gaels (7-3).

Freshman right-hander Dan Klein (2-2) earned the victory, allowing one run and four hits in three innings of relief. Klein recorded four strikeouts and did not issue a walk.

Second baseman Alden Carrithers continued his hot hitting, finishing 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs and two stolen bases. The senior from Portland, Ore., hit 4-for-5 in UCLA's 14-0 win on Friday evening and currently boasts a team-leading .405 batting average. Third baseman Jermaine Curtis hit 2-for-5 with two runs and one stolen base. First baseman Casey Haerther registered a 2-for-5 effort with two RBI.

St. Mary's senior right-hander Alex Jensen (0-2) absorbed the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) and three hits in three innings of relief. Jensen struck out two hitters and registered two walks.

UCLA trailed twice during the game - by as much as 3-0 after the first inning and 5-3 in the middle of the sixth. With St. Mary's ahead, 5-4, entering the bottom of the seventh, the Bruins added three runs to assume a 7-5 lead. Center fielder Justin Uribe and right fielder Gabe Cohen led off the inning with walks. A single by shortstop Brandon Crawford brought home Uribe. Babineau's pinch-hit double scored Cohen and Crawford.

The Gaels were led offensively by first baseman Anthony Aliotti, who finished 2-for-4 with a game-high three RBI. Second baseman Randy Wells hit 2-for-5 with one run, and outfielder Kenny Fuglerud registered a 2-for-3 effort with one home run, two runs and two RBI.

St. Mary's raced to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, loading the bases with nobody out. After two Gaels struck out swinging, first baseman Anthony Aliotti ripped a bases-clearing double to the left-center field gap.

The Bruins cut into St. Mary's lead with a two-run third inning. Curtis led off with a base hit to first base and stole second before Carrithers drew a walk. Haerther singled through the right side, bringing home Curtis. Uribe's one-out double to left field scored Carrithers from third.

UCLA tied the ballgame, 3-3, in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, Curtis singled to center field and Carrithers lined a base-hit to left, sending Curtis to second. Haerther drove home Curtis with a single up the middle.

The Gaels regained the lead with a two-out, two-run homer by Fuglerud. The Bruins cut the Gaels' lead to 5-4 in the sixth inning, as Carrithers reached on a base-hit to right field, stole second and third base and scored on a throwing error by catcher Ryan Mulligan.

UCLA and St. Mary's conclude their three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Game Notes: With Saturday's victory, UCLA notched its first series win over St. Mary's since 1947 - the last season in which both teams played a three-game set...Alden Carrithers has reached base via a hit or walk in eight of his last 10 plate appearances (last two games)...Gavin Brooks allowed three runs and five hits in four innings, recording five strikeouts in his first start since the season opener...Ryan Babineau returned to action after having sat out the last six games with a hip flexor injury.

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