March 29, 2003
Wes Whisler shut down the potent Arizona offense to lead UCLA (16-15) to a 7-5 win over #17 Arizona (21-10) at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Bruins struck early, scoring three runs in the top of the first off Arizona starter Richie Gardner. Brett McMillan drove in the first run of the game when he brought in Preston Griffin, who had singled, with his triple down the right field line. Billy Susdorf drove in McMillan with a double. Susdorf would later cross home plate on a ground out from Chris Denove.
Another Susdorf double got the Bruin rally started in the fourth, as UCLA added another run to its lead. Susdorf came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Denove.
The Bruin bats exploded again in the fifth as back-to-back homers from Susdorf and Whisler put UCLA ahead 6-0. Denove would add another run when he scored on a double from Brandon Averill.
Whisler had held Arizona to one hit and only two base runners heading into the sixth inning. However, the Wildcats would get on the board in the top of the sixth when a sacrifice bunt drove in John Hardy. The run would be unearned however as an error earlier in the inning allowed Hardy to advance.
The Bruins still led 7-1 going into the top of the ninth, but Arizona was not finished. Three singles and a wild pitch allowed two runs to score before Richard Mercado hit a two-run homer to bring the Wildcats within two with two outs. Reliever Kevin Jerkens retired the last Arizona batter to pick up the save for UCLA.
Whisler earned his third win of the season, striking out three batters in seven innings of action.
Susdorf led the Bruin arsenal, going three-for-five with two RBI and three runs scored. Whisler and Averill both finished the day going two-for-four.
The Bruins will return to action tomorrow, when right-hander Casey Janssen gets the start against the Wildcats. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m.