March 30, 2003
Despite a three-run home run from Brandon Averill in the bottom of the ninth, UCLA (16-16, 2-1) was unable to overcome its deficit, falling 12-10 to #17 Arizona (22-10, 3-3) in the third game of its opening Pac-10 series.
Bruin starter Casey Janssen was forced to make an early exit as a line drive hit his right hand in the second inning. He left the game after 1.2 innings, while allowing no runs on two hits. Reliever Adam Simon took over for Janssen, striking out the last batter of the inning.
Arizona posted four runs in the third inning as two singles, a double, and a triple drove in the runs.
Averill cut into the Wildcat lead with a solo home run in the bottom of the inning. After three, UCLA trailed 4-1.
The Wildcats put up three more runs in the top of the fourth inning as an error and a walk allowed to runs to score on a Terrance Taylor double. Taylor would later score on a Brian Anderson single.
UCLA cut the lead back to four, scoring two in the bottom of the fourth. Brett McMillan, who had singled, crossed home plate on a single from Chris Denove. Matt Thayer would drive in Billy Susdorf to bring the Wildcat advantage to 7-3 after the fourth.
Arizona posted a run in both the fifth and sixth innings and UCLA added on in the sixth as the Wildacts built a 9-3 lead. However, a three-run homer from Anderson would give them a 12-3 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
The Bruins brought three of their own across the plate in the bottom of the inning. A lead-off single from Preston Griffin started the rally before a double from McMillan sent Griffin to third. A single from Susdorf drove in Griffin. After a walk and a strikeout, a walk to Thayer walked in McMillan. Susdorf would later score on a ground out. At the end of seven innings, UCLA trailed 12-7.
Reliever David Johnson haulted the Wildcats in the last two innings, not allowing a hit and striking out four.
Behind Johnson's pitching, UCLA had the chance for a ninth inning comeback. After a fly out to lead off the inning, Whisler reached base on a bunt single. A strike-out would put UCLA one out away from the loss. However, Thayer would go to second on an error, while Whisler advanced to third. The bases would clear as Averill hit his third home run of the series to put UCLA within two runs. Yet, the comeback would fall short as a fielder's choice ended the game.
The Bruins will return to Pac-10 play on Friday when they host California at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Friday's game will start at 6:00 p.m.