March 29, 2005
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - In its first game in over two weeks and in front of a season high crowd of 629 fans at Jackie Robinson Stadium, UCLA narrowly fell to No. 2 Cal State Fullerton 7-6 Tuesday evening. The Bruins kept pace with defending national champions and eventually put the winning run aboard in the ninth but the Titans' bullpen held strong and the Bruins (7-14) were sent to their tenth straight loss.
The Titans (18-6) struck first against Bruin freshman southpaw Brendan Lafferty with two quick runs in the first inning. Ronnie Prettyman's RBI single plated Trevor Mortenson for the Titans' first run and a Tommy Lansdon throwing error would later bring around Prettyman with Fullerton's second run
Cal State Fullerton added another run in the second as Titan center fielder Bobby Andrews scored on a wild pitch. But the Bruins added single runs in the second and third innings to knot the game at three heading into the fourth.
The Titans got to Bruin reliever and eventual loser Daniel Miltenberger (2-1) for three runs in the fourth via RBI singles from Mortenson and Justin Turner and and RBI sacrifice bunt by Prettyman.
The Bruins continued chipping away at the Titans' lead by putting up two more single run efforts in the fourth and fifth innings and eventually narrowed the gap to 7-5 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Run scoring singles off the bats of Kris Kasarjian, Eric Taylor and the hot-hitting Anthony Norman led the Bruin comeback.
UCLA staged its last final push in the last half of the ninth as the Bruins put the tying run on second and the winning run on first with one out. But Cal State Fullerton closer Vinnie Pestano earned his fifth save of the year in dramatic fashion by striking out UCLA's home run leader Brett McMillan and inducing catcher Chris Denove into a game-ending fly out. Smith had earlier singled in pinch-runner Jonathan Medici to bring the Bruins to within one.
John Estes (1-0) picked up his first win of the season with two effective innings of relief for the Titans.
UCLA left-hander Brian Schroeder tossed an impressive four scoreless innings of relief to finish the game. The junior allowed just two hits while walking none and striking out five.
Norman posted his second 3-for-4 performances in as many games and is now batting .400, a team best.