UCLA Baseball Edged, 6-5, in Season Finale at No. 3 Arizona State
May 24, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - The UCLA baseball team dropped a 6-5 decision at No. 3 Arizona State in the Bruins' season finale Sunday afternoon at Packard Stadium. First baseman Cody Decker went 2-for-4 with one homer, two runs and two RBI in his final game as a Bruin. Right fielder Brett Krill went 2-for-3 with one double and center fielder Blair Dunlap belted a solo homer in the top of the ninth inning.
Bruin left-hander Matt Grace (4-3) was charged with the loss, allowing one run and one walk in relief. UCLA right-hander Charles Brewer surrendered four runs and seven hits in 4.2 innings as the Bruins' starting pitcher. Brewer struck out three hitters and issued three walks.
Arizona State left-hander Mitchell Lambson (8-3) earned the victory, limiting UCLA (27-29, 15-12 Pac-10) to two runs and six hits in five innings of relief. Lambson registered five strikeouts and did not issue any walks.
The Sun Devils (44-12, 21-6 Pac-10) were led offensively by catcher Carlos Ramirez, who went 4-for-5 with three RBI and two runs. Second baseman Zach MacPhee went 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI.
Arizona State took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a solo homer to right field by Ramirez. The Bruins answered with one run in the top of the second. Designated hitter Casey Haerther scored from second base when second baseman Tyler Rahmatulla reached first base safely and advanced to second on a throwing error.
UCLA claimed a 3-1 advantage in the top of the third. After catcher Gino Aielli drew a two-out walk, Decker crushed a two-run homer to left field.
The Sun Devils recaptured the lead, 4-3, with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. MacPhee led off with a single to left field and moved to third on a base-hit by shortstop Drew Maggi. A single to right field by Ramirez plated one run before Maggi was thrown out at home in a pickle, allowing Ramirez to move to third base. A run-scoring double by left fielder Kole Calhoun followed by an RBI-single through the left side by first baseman Riccio Torrez plated two runs.
UCLA tied the contest, 4-4, in the sixth. Decker opened the inning with a single to center and moved to second on a single to left field by Krill. A single through the left side by Rahmatulla scored Decker.
Arizona State added one run to break a 4-4 tie in the sixth. After a leadoff walk, wild pitch and base-hit, MacPhee lined a run-scoring single through the right side allowing pinch-hitter Austin Barnes to score. After a sacrifice bunt and intentional walk, right-hander Erik Goeddel induced Ramirez to ground into an inning-ending double play.
The Sun Devils scored one run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. After lifting a double down the left-field line and advancing to third base on a wild pitch, center fielder Jason Kipnis scored on a single by Ramirez.
UCLA's ninth-inning rally fell short, as the Bruins stranded pinch-hitter Dustin Quist at third base. Dunlap led off the inning with a home run to right field. Quist followed with a pinch-hit bunt single. After a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Niko Gallego and a groundout by third baseman Eddie Murray, Quist moved to third. Lambson fanned Aielli on a full count to end the game.
UCLA closed its regular-season slate with a 27-29 record and 15-12 Pac-10 mark. The Bruins locked up a third-place finish in the Pac-10 Conference (UCLA wins the tiebreak over Oregon State, having won the three-game season series).
Game Notes: Cody Decker moved into a tie for seventh-place on UCLA's career home runs list, belting his 47th career round-tripper in the third inning (tied with Ryan McGuire)...Decker finished the season with 55 runs scored, the highest single-season total by a Bruin since 2000 (Chase Utley, 81 runs)...UCLA earned a third-place finish in the Pac-10 Conference for the fourth consecutive season...the Bruins' 2009 pitching staff finished the regular season having collected 509 strikeouts in one season, second-most in school history (UCLA logged 531 in 2000)...UCLA played 16 games during the regular season against six teams selected as NCAA Tournament Regional hosts...seniors Brendan Lafferty (0.2 IP) and Jason Novak (1.0 IP) combined for 1.2 innings of scoreless relief in their final game at UCLA.