UCLA Baseball Defeats UC Riverside, 5-3, in Series Opener
April 11, 2008
LOS ANGELES - Left-hander Tim Murphy (3-3) recorded eight strikeouts in seven innings to lead the UCLA baseball team past UC Riverside, 5-3, Friday evening at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Murphy limited the visiting Highlanders (9-19) to one run and four hits, as UCLA (15-13) pounded out 11 hits in the non-conference victory.
Trailing 1-0 after two innings, the Bruins scored three in the fifth and two in the sixth, withstood a ninth-inning rally by the Highlanders and held on for the 5-3 win. Eight Bruins recorded hits, as first baseman Casey Haerther led the way going 3-for-4 with one RBI. Designated hitter Cody Decker went 2-for-4 with one run.
UC Riverside right-hander Stephen Penney (0-4) was tagged with the loss, surrendering five runs and nine hits in six innings. Penney recorded two strikeouts and issued two walks.
UCLA scored three runs in the fifth to assume a 3-1 lead. Center fielder Blair Dunlap led off with a single and took second base on a sacrifice bunt by second baseman Niko Gallego. After an infield single by left fielder Alden Carrithers, third baseman Jermaine Curtis lifted a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Dunlap from third. Crawford's double to left-center field sent home Carrithers, and Haerther's line drive single to right scored Crawford.
The Bruins added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Right fielder Gabe Cohen led off the inning getting plunked by a pitch and advanced to third on a base-hit by Decker, who took second on the throw to third base. Catcher Ryan Babineau's infield single plated Cohen, and Decker crossed the plate on a double-play groundout by Dunlap.
UC Riverside got on the board in the top of the second as right fielder Joey Gonzales belted a solo home run, his second round-tripper of the season, over the right-field fence.
The Highlanders scored two in the ninth, stranding runners in scoring position to end the game. With one out, Gonzales struck out, but reached first base on a third-strike wild pitch. After catcher Daniel Pellegrino drew a walk, third baseman Ryan Goetz reached on a fielder's choice, and Gonzales scored from second on an errant throw by Curtis. A double to left field by shortstop Trevor Hairgrove scored Pellegrino from second base. Right-hander Jason Novak induced a groundout from designated hitter Brandon Schnebly to end the game.
UCLA and UC Riverside resume their three-game series Saturday at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Game time is 2 p.m.
Game Notes: Alden Carrithers extended his hit streak to nine games...Carrithers has hit safely in 24 of UCLA's 28 games...Brandon Crawford has gone 7-for-16 (.438) in the Bruins' last four games...UCLA improved its all-time record against UC Riverside to 17-9...Brendan Lafferty tossed 0.2 scoreless innings in relief...each Bruin in the starting batting lineup hit safely or reached via a base on balls.