No. 10 UCLA Baseball Overcomes Late Deficits to Win at California, 8-7

May 21, 2010

Box Score

BERKELEY, Calif. - The No. 10 UCLA baseball team overcame a two-run deficit in the top of the ninth inning, scoring three runs on consecutive 0-and-2 counts, to earn an 8-7 victory in a series-opening contest at California on Friday afternoon. The Bruins (39-11, 14-8) scored twice in the eighth inning and three times in the ninth.

Friday's victory marked the Bruins' third win of the year - all in Pac-10 play - in which UCLA was trailing with two outs in the ninth inning before overcoming the late deficit to win. The Bruins extended their Pac-10 win streak to a season high seven games, collecting their ninth victory in the team's last 10 contests.

In a wild back-and-forth affair at Evans Diamond, the Bruins took a 5-4 lead with two runs in the top of the eighth before California (27-20, 11-11) claimed a 7-5 cushion with three-run inning. The Golden Bears tied the game with a sacrifice fly off closer Dan Klein, before shortstop Marcus Semien belted a two-out homer on a full count.

UCLA's three runs in the ninth all came with two outs. Left fielder Chris Giovinazzo led off with a walk and took third base on shortstop Niko Gallego's ensuing base-hit to right field. Gallego moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by catcher Steve Rodriguez. After designated hitter Blair Dunlap struck out, center fielder Blair Amaral singled safely on high chopper in front of second base on a 0-and-2 count, scoring Giovinazzo.

With runners on the corners, Rahmatulla singled to shallow right field with the count 0-and-2, scoring Gallego immediately on the play. Among a trio of players converging on the single, right fielder Danny Oh mishandled the ball, allowing Amaral to score the go-ahead run from first base.

Klein (5-0) pitched a perfect ninth inning after having allowed two runs and three hits in the eighth to earn the victory. California right-hander Matt Flemer (2-3) allowed three runs (two earned) and four hits in 1.2 frames.

UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole did not earn a decision in a valiant effort. The right-hander from Santa Ana, Calif., struck out seven batters and walked two in 7.1 innings, surrendering five runs and nine hits. Cole moved up UCLA's single-season top-10 strikeouts list, vaulting into sixth place with 113 punchouts on the season.

Left fielder Jeff Gelalich went 2-for-3 with two RBI, while first baseman Justin Uribe and third baseman Cody Regis also posted 2-for-3 efforts. Center fielder Beau Amaral went 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI, and shortstop Niko Gallego went 2-for-4 with one run.

California was led at the plate by Semien, who went 3-for-4 with one homer, three RBI and one run. Center fielder Chad Bunting also went 3-for-4 for the Golden Bears, collecting two RBI and two runs.

The Bruins led 3-0 in the second inning on a two-run double by designated hitter Jeff Gelalich and a run-scoring groundout by Rodriguez. California answered in the bottom half of the frame with one run to trail, 3-1.

The host Golden Bears broke through with a three-run fourth inning to claim a 4-3 cushion. With runners at second and third, Devin Rodriguez grounded a two-RBI triple down the right field line. An ensuing double to left field by Semien scored Devin Rodriguez, pushing California ahead by one run.

UCLA and California continue their three-game series on Saturday and Sunday. Game time of each contest is slated for 1 p.m. Fans can listen to a live audio broadcast, free of charge, online at UCLA's John Ramey will have the call live from Evans Diamond in Berkeley, Calif.

Game Notes: UCLA won its 39th-regular season game, tied for the fourth-highest regular-season win total in school history (the Bruins won 41 regular-season games in 1979 and 40 games in 1969 and 1997) ... the Bruins had also trailed with two outs in the ninth inning at Arizona (April 23) and versus USC (May 16) ... in all, UCLA received five two-hit efforts on offense (Beau Amaral, Justin Uribe, Cody Regis, Jeff Gelalich and Niko Gallego) ... the Bruins have batted at a .335 in the last 10 games, with Justin Uribe leading the way in that span with a .478 average (11-for-23).

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