March 14, 2004
SAN DIEGO, CA - The Bruins (12-8) dropped a heartbreaking 7-6 contest to Houston in the Aztec Invitational at PETCO Park on Sunday. The Cougars scored the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning after UCLA had rallied back from a 6-2 deficit.
After loading the bases with an intentional walk, Kevin Roberts walked to drive in the winning run for Houston. Reliever Kyle Wilson, who had struck out two batters in the eighth frame suffered the loss, dropping to 0-1 on the season.
UCLA had rallied with four runs in the eighth inning to even the score at 6-6. A leadoff walk to Chris Denove started the inning, while back-to-back singles from Mike Svetlic and Jarrad Page loaded the bases with no outs. A single from Preston Griffin drove in two runs and Billy Susdorf moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice hit. Brett McMillan brought Page in with a sacrifice fly to right field before a double from Wes Whisler brought Griffin in.
The Bruins started the contest strong, scoring a run in each of the first two innings. In the first frame, a leadoff single from Griffin started the rally. After moving to second on a ground-out, he would come around to score on a single from McMillan. In the second, a leadoff walk to Matt Thayer would end up costing the Cougars as he moved to third on a single from Ryan McCarthy. Thayer scored on a sacrifice fly by Denove.
In the bottom of the second, Houston broke onto the scoreboard when Nick Bott scored on a Rob Johnson single after doubling earlier in the inning.
The Cougars tied the game in the bottom of the third inning on a solo home run from Kevin Roberts. After three innings, the game was even at 2-2.
Houston scored three runs in the fourth frame as four singles spearheaded the rally. At the end of four, the Cougars led 5-2.
Another Cougar run would score in the seventh inning as Rob Johnson doubled in pinch runner Jake Stewart. Stewart had replaced Patrick Breen who had singled earlier in the frame.
Griffin finished the day going 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. McMillan also finished with two runs driven in.
UCLA will return home for its final game before a 10-day break for finals when it faces off with Loyola Marymount in a 2:30 p.m. game at Jackie Robinson Stadium.