April 26, 2005
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Brett McMillan's two-run home run in the sixth inning broke a 1-1 tie and Sean Carpenter added two hits as UCLA held off UC Irvine for a 3-1 victory Tuesday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The win has added significance for UCLA first-year head coach John Savage, who was taking on his former team for the first time since coming to UCLA last summer.
The win is the first at home for UCLA since February 25, ending a seven-game home slide. Right-hander Brant Rustich (2-3) earned the victory with 2.1 scoreless innings in relief of starter Adam Simon. Simon worked an impressive five innings, allowing just one run in the first inning. UCLA pitchers held the Anteaters to just seven hits, ironically the fewest allowed since the 9-0 win over Pacific on February 25.
Bruin ace right-hander Hector Ambriz earned his first career save by shutting down the Anteaters for the final 1.2 innings of the game. Ambriz entered the game with one out and the bases loaded in the eighth and struck out Anteater third baseman Tim Wojcik before inducing Danny McCarthy into an inning ending fly out. He then added another strikeout while working a scoreless ninth.
UC Irvine scored its only run in the top of the first on Mark Wagner's RBI ground out which scored center fielder Ollie Linton.
The Bruins tied the game in the fifth when Carpenter singled home shortstop Tommy Lansdon from third base. Lansdon had reached earlier after being hit by a pitch and moved to third on catcher Chris Denove's single.
In the sixth, Ambriz, who began the game as the Bruins' designated hitter, led off with a double to left before the next batter, McMillan, launched his sixth home run of the year for the eventual game winner.
Michael Koehler (2-3) suffered the defeat for UCI, allowing all three runs in two innings worked.
The victory marks the first time UCLA has overcome such an early deficit. Entering tonight's contest, when the opponent had scored in the first frame, UCLA was 0-15.
The win is also UCLA's first over UCI in 15 years since the Bruins defeated the Anteaters 15-5 on April 17, 1990. UCLA had lost five straight to Irvine, including the last four in a row since Irvine reestablished its baseball program in 2002 with Savage at the helm.