UCLA Baseball Drops 6-3 Decision at No. 5 Cal State Fullerton

May 15, 2009

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FULLERTON, Calif. - The UCLA baseball team lost its series opener at No. 5 Cal State Fullerton, 6-3, on Friday evening at Goodwin Field. Center fielder Blair Dunlap led the Bruins (25-25), going 2-for-3 with two triples, two runs and one RBI.

First baseman Cody Decker went 1-for-3 with one run and one walk. Shortstop Niko Gallego turned in the Bruins' other multiple-hit effort, going 2-for-4 with one of UCLA's three RBI.

Cal State Fullerton right-hander Daniel Renken (8-2) limited the Bruins to three runs and six hits in 8.2 innings to earn the victory. Renken registered five strikeouts and issued one walk and did not allow a hit until Decker singled with two outs in the seventh inning.

Left-hander Nick Ramirez earned his fifth save, surrendering an RBI base-hit before recording the final out.

UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole (4-6) was tagged with the loss, surrendering six runs (four earned) and six hits in 5.2 innings. Cole logged two strikeouts and walked four. Left-hander Rob Rasmussen tossed one hitless inning in relief, and right-hander Jason Novak followed with 1.1 hitless innings.

The Titans (37-13) received home runs from right fielder Khris Davis and designated hitter Nick Ramirez.

Cal State Fullerton jumped to a 3-0 lead with a three-run first inning. After a drawing a leadoff walk, shortstop Christian Colon scored from third base on a two-out single to left field by first baseman Jared Clark. Davis followed with a two-run homer to center field.

The Titans added one pair of runs, both unearned, in the bottom of the second. After drawing a leadoff walk, catcher Dustin Garneau advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt before stealing third. Colon drew a two-out walk, and after breaking toward second base, UCLA catcher Steve Rodriguez caught third-base runner Garneau in a rundown. The Bruins botched the pickle, allowing Garneau to remain safely at third. Third baseman Gary Brown followed with a two-RBI single through the left side, pushing Cal State Fullerton's margin to 5-0.

A solo homer to right field by Ramirez in the sixth inning handed Cal State Fullerton a 6-0 advantage.

The Bruins closed the gap to 6-3 with one run in the eighth and two in the ninth. Dunlap led off the top of the eighth inning with a triple to the gap in right-center field before Gallego followed with a one-out RBI-single.

In the ninth, Decker drew a 10-pitch walk on a full count and scored from first base on Dunlap's second triple of the evening, a two-out shot the gap in right-center field. Right fielder Chris Giovinazzo scored Dunlap with a single to right. A bunt single to second base by Gallego put runners at first and second base with two outs, before Ramirez struck out pinch-hitter Gabe Cohen for the final out.

UCLA and No. 5 Cal State Fullerton resume their three-game series Saturday at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium. Game time is 6 p.m. The Bruins and Titans conclude their weekend Sunday at 1 p.m. at UCLA. An audio broadcast of both games will be available, free of charge, online at uclabruins.com.

Game Notes: UCLA's pitching staff recorded six strikeouts Friday evening, pushing its season total to 463 strikeouts, the Bruins' highest single-season team total since 2000, when UCLA recorded a program-record 531 strikeouts in 64 games...Blair Dunlap notched his 17th multiple-hit game, the second-highest total on the club...Dunlap also extended his current hitting streak to nine games (also had one 11-game streak earlier this spring)...between Rob Rasmussen and Jason Novak, UCLA's bullpen did not allow any hits in 2.1 scoreless innings, compiling four strikeouts.

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