Feb. 4, 2003
After four home runs led the Bruins (2-2) to victory on Sunday, two key home runs by UC Riverside (4-0) were UCLA's downfalls, losing 8-3 at the Riverside Sports Complex.
Junior right-hander Chris Cordeiro threw five shutout innings to start the game. He allowed only five hits, while striking out five Highlanders.
UC Riverside starter Jayme Torres was equally impressive, keeping the potent UCLA attack at bay until the top of the fifth inning. Second baseman Preston Griffin got the inning started with a single. Griffin stole second and advanced to third on a ground out from Sean Carpenter. After a walk was issued to Matt Thayer, Ryan McCarthy sacrificed Griffin home to give UCLA a 1-0 lead.
Freshman hurler Hector Ambriz took the mound in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ambriz, who was facing the first batter of his collegiate career, gave up a home run to Brian Wahlbrink. The home run started a three-run inning for the Highlanders and they did not look back.
Torres left the game after seven innings, in which he allowed only one run on four hits. Reliever Haley Winter continued the trend, allowing only three hits and two runs over the course of the last two innings.
Still trailing 3-1, UCLA narrowed the gap in the top of the eighth. Wes Whisler led off the inning with an infield single. Following a Susdorf strikeout and a fly out by Casey Janssen, Chris Denove reached base on a walk. Pinch runner Christian Lewis came in for Denove and advanced to second on a single from Chris Jensen. Adam Simon was called upon to pinch run for Jensen and the bases were loaded with two outs. A pass ball on catcher Jeff Crinklaw moved the runners forward and brought Whisler across the plate. Griffin, who started the rally in the fifth, grounded out to the shortstop to end the inning.
The Highlanders, however, widened the gap once again in the bottom of the inning. Another Bruin freshman, Garett White took the mound after Ambriz had walked two batters and thrown a wild pitch. Like Ambriz, White gave up a home run to the first batter of his career, a three-run homer by Randy Blood. Bryan Beck relieved White after the home run and surrendered two more runs before the inning was over.
UCLA mounted a comeback in the ninth when Carpenter singled to left field and advanced to the third on a wild pitch. After a strikeout, McCarthy brought Carpenter across home plate on a ground out. The comeback fell short as Whisler grounded out to end the game.
The Bruins will be back in action on Friday when they travel to the Hawaiian Islands for a weekend series against Hawaii. The left-hander Whisler will face off with right-hander Chris George in Friday's 6:35 match-up.