March 1, 2003
Another offensive explosion catapulted UCLA (10-9) to a 12-2 victory over 21st-ranked Tulane (9-3)in the second day of the Kia Baseball Bash at Cal State Fullerton. The win marked the second consecutive victory over a ranked opponent, after defeating sixth-ranked Texas the day before.
Tulane got onto the board in the top of the first as a lead-off walk to John Kaplan led to the Green Wave's first run. After reaching base on the walk, he stole second and advanced to third on a ground out to second base. He would score on another ground out, this one from Michael Aubrey.
The Bruins, who scored nine runs in the fourth inning against Texas, scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 3-1 advantage. Three consecutive doubles, from Preston Griffin, Brett McMillan and a two-RBI double from Billy Susdorf got the rally started. Susdorf would score the third Bruin run on a ground-out to the second baseman by Wes Whisler.
UCLA added two more to its total in the bottom of the fifth inning. Lead-off hitter Brandon Averill reached base on an error by the first baseman before Matt Thayer followed with a base-hit bunt to give the Bruins two runners with no outs. A sacrifice bunt from Griffin would move the runners over. They both would score on the second double of the day from McMillan. However, the freshman left fielder would be thrown out in between second and third. At the end of five innings, UCLA led 5-1.
The Green Wave knocked the Bruin lead down to three in the top of the sixth when another lead-off walk would cross the plate later in the inning.
The Bruin bats would help the UCLA advantage continue to grow with two more runs in the bottom of the inning. Whisler led off with a single to right field and Denove followed him with a double down the left field line. With no outs and runners on first and second, designated hitter Hector Ambriz drove in Whisler with a single up the middle. Denove would score when Ryan McCarthy grounded into a double play.
The floodgates opened in the bottom of the seventh inning when five Bruin runs crossed the plate. Thayer earned a lead-off walk and stole second to put the first UCLA runner in scoring position. After consecutive outs from Griffin and McMillan, Susdorf singled to right field. With two runners on, Whisler hit his second home run of the tournament to give UCLA a 10-2 lead. Consecutive singles from Denove, Ambriz and McCarthy would bring two more runs across the plate and give UCLA a 12-2 lead heading into the eighth inning.
Casey Janssen earned his third win of 2003, lasting 6.0 innings, allowing only two runs on five hits. Bryan Beck threw the final three innings to pick up the save, his first of the season. He only allowed one hit.
Ambriz and McMillan finished the day going 3-for-4, with two RBI apiece. Whisler, Denove and Susdorf were all two-for-four. Whisler led the team with three RBI.
UCLA will be back in action for its final game of the tournament in a match-up with 2nd-ranked Cal State Fullerton at 5:00 tomorrow at Goodwin Field.