Feb. 3, 2004
For the first time since 2000, the UCLA Baseball team (1-0) started its season with a win as the Bruins posted a 4-1 victory over UC Riverside at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Right-hander Casey Janssen got the opening day start and mowed down nine Highlanders in his four innings of action. The Fountain Valley native did not allow a run on two hits in his outing.
The Bruin offense got started in the second frame as Matt Thayer hit a solo home run in his fist at-bat of the season. With the round-tripper UCLA led 1-0.
In the third inning, the Bruins would post three runs as Billy Susdorf started the rally with a leadoff walk. After going to second on a passed ball, Susdorf moved to third on a single from Wes Whisler. After Chris Denove walked, Susdorf would score on single from Thayer. Brandon Averill drove in Whisler with a single to left field and Brett McMillan brought Denove home with a sacrifice fly. After three innings, UCLA led 4-0.
Sophomore Hector Ambriz (1-0) relieved Janssen to start the fifth inning and kept the Highlanders off the scoreboard for four frames to earn his first win with a three-hit, one-run performance. Ambriz also struck out four Highlanders.
Tony Festa would break up the shutout with a solo home run in the top of the ninth for UC Riverside's only run of the day.
UCLA will take a 10-day break from intercollegiate action, but will host its annual alumni day on Saturday, February 7. The festivities will start at 11:00 am with a home run hitting contest, while the 2004 team will take on the Bruin pros at 2:00 pm.