No. 6 UCLA Baseball Downs No. 19 Stanford, 6-5 in 10 Innings, Improving to 22-0
April 1, 2010
LOS ANGELES - A flare single to center field by first baseman Dean Espy scored shortstop Niko Gallego from third base with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning, leading the No. 6 UCLA baseball team past No. 19 Stanford, 6-5, in the Bruins' Pac-10 opener Thursday night at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
UCLA improved to 22-0, the best start in school history, after having overcome three deficits against the visiting Cardinal (12-8, 2-2 Pac-10).
Right-hander Dan Klein (2-0) scattered two singles in 1.2 scoreless innings of relief to earn his second victory. Klein registered three strikeouts in his team-leading 15th appearance of the season and did not issue any walks.
Stanford right-hander Alex Pracher (4-1) absorbed his first loss of the season, allowing one run and six hits through 3.1 innings out of the bullpen.
The Bruins' 22nd consecutive win came in their first extra-inning affair of the season. Earlier this spring, UCLA won back-to-back ballgames in walkoff fashion at Jackie Robinson Stadium - those two games, in the bottom of the ninth.
UCLA's bottom half of the 10th began with a single to center by Gallego. A sacrifice bunt back to the mound by catcher Steve Rodriguez moved Gallego to second. Desiganted hitter Blair Dunlap singled to center, pushing Gallego to third, before Dean's base-hit to shallow center scored Gallego.
Among the most pivotal plays of the game occurred in the top of the ninth with the game tied, 5-5. With Stanford center fielder Tyler Gaffney aboard second base and one out, shortstop Jake Schlander singled to left field. Gaffney slipped after rounding third base. Bruins' second baseman Tyler Rahmatulla took the throw from left fielder Cody Keefer and threw out Gaffney at home, as Rodriguez applied the tag on the leaping baserunner.
The Bruins battled from a 5-3 deficit in the bottom of the seventh. After Rahmatulla and center fielder Chris Giovinazzo led off the inning drawing consecutive walks before advancing one base on a sacrifice bunt, third baseman Cody Regis lined a two-RBI single to right field, tying the contest at 5-5.
Dean, Rahmatulla, Regis and first baseman Justin Uribe each had two hits for UCLA. Rahmatulla scored a game-high three runs and added one RBI. Regis led the Bruins with two RBI.
Stanford right fielder Dave Guiliani led the visiting Cardinal at the plate, going 2-for-3 with one double and two runs. Gaffney and first baseman Stephen Piscotty also tallied two hits each for Stanford.
Thursday's series opener became a battle of the bullpens, as neither starting pitcher lasted past the sixth inning. UCLA's Gerrit Cole allowed three runs (one earned) and five hits in 5.2 innings. Stanford's Brian Busick was charged with three runs off six hits in 4.1 innings in his first start of the season.
Stanford scored one run on a throwing error with two outs in the top of the first to claim a 1-0 lead. The Bruins answered in the bottom of the frame with a two-out solo homer to right field Rahmatulla.
The Cardinal secured a 2-1 cushion on a two-out RBI-single up the middle by second baseman Colin Walsh in the top of the fourth. Walsh's base-hit scored Giuliani from second base.
UCLA added two runs in the bottom of the fifth to lead by a 3-2 margin. The Bruins tied the game, 2-2, on an RBI-single to right field by Uribe. Rahmatulla scored from third base on a two-out wild pitch.
Stanford tied the ballgame, 3-3, with one run in the fifth before scoring twice in the sixth to lead, 5-3. The Cardinal had a pinch-hit RBI-single by Ben Clowe before a fielder's choice grounded by second baseman Colin Walsh scored third baseman Kenny Diekroeger.
UCLA continues its three-game series against Stanford on Friday. Game time at Jackie Robinson Stadium is slated for 6 p.m. Admission costs $7 for adults and $5 for children (16 and under). In addition, UCLA offers a family 'four-pack' Friday promotion - for $24, fans can purchase four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and one bag of popcorn.
Game Notes: Tyler Rahmatulla tallied his team-leading 14th multiple-hit game for the Bruins and belted his third home run of the spring ... left-hander Matt Grace pitched two scoreless innings in relief ... Rahmatulla and Justin Uribe each extended their hitting streaks to 10 games ... UCLA has won each of its last four Pac-10 series opening ballgames ... UCLA (22-0) and Arizona State (24-0) are the only undefeated NCAA Division I baseball teams.