No. 11 UCLA Baseball Edged at Cal Poly, 9-8

March 13, 2008

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The No. 11 UCLA baseball team dropped a 9-8 decision at Cal Poly on Thursday evening, in the opener of a three-game non-conference series at Baggett Stadium. In a back-and-forth contest, the host Mustangs (7-7) scored two runs to overcome an 8-7 deficit in the ninth inning.

Seven Bruins each posted multi-hit performances in a 17-hit attack, led by second baseman Alden Carrithers, who finished the evening 4-for-6 with one run. Carrithers pounded out four singles in his first four at-bats. Right fielder Gabe Cohen scored two of the Bruins' eight runs, hitting 2-for-5 with a solo home run. Designated hitter Cody Decker continued his offensive surge, belting a solo homer in a 2-for-5 effort.

Right-hander Kevin Castner (1-1) earned the victory for Cal Poly, pitching 0.2 scoreless innings of relief. Left-hander Brendan Lafferty (1-1) was tagged with the loss for UCLA (8-5), allowing two runs and three hits in 1.2 innings of relief.

Cal Poly led off the bottom of the ninth with a double to the gap in right-center field by third baseman Brent Morel, who advanced to third on a balk. Designated hitter D.J. Gentile lined a base-hit through the left side, scoring Morel from third to tie the contest, 8-8.

Right fielder Ryan Lee laced a single down the right-field line, sending pinch-runner Justin Henley to third base. Following a strikeout for the first out, shortstop Kyle Smith grounded a chopper to Carrithers, playing in at second base. Carrithers stepped on second base for the second out, but just missed beating the runner to first base with his throw.

Gentile finished the evening 4-for-5 with two RBI and one run. Morel hit 3-for-5 with three runs and Smith posted a 2-for-4 effort with two runs.

In a back-and-forth contest, UCLA scored - to tie or take the lead - in each inning after which Cal Poly added runs. UCLA clawed back from deficits of 2-0, 5-4 and 6-5.

Cal Poly claimed the game's first lead, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Center fielder Logan Schafer initiated the two-out rally with a bloop double to left field and scored on a base-hit up the middle by Morel. A double down the right field line by right fielder Ryan Lee plated Morel from third base.

UCLA answered immediately, tying the game, 2-2, in the top of the second inning. Decker belted a solo home run to left field with one out in the frame, cutting the Mustangs' advantage in half. Shortstop Brandon Crawford followed with a double off the wall in left-center field and moved to third base on a wild pitch. Catcher Ryan Babineau's groundout to shortstop brought home Crawford.

The Bruins tacked on two more runs in the top of the third to assume a 4-2 advantage. Third baseman Jermaine Curtis drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second base on a single through the left side by Carrithers. A double to right field scored Curtis, sending Carrithers to third. With Crawford at the plate, Carrithers scored on a wild pitch.

Cal Poly scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 5-4 lead. Gentile led off the frame with a triple to right-center field and scored on an infield single by first baseman Wes Dorrell. With runners in scoring position, left fielder Luke Yoder hit a two-RBI single to center field, handing the Mustangs the lead.

Again, the Bruins answered on the first pitch of the top of the fifth inning, as Cohen belted a solo home run to right, tying the contest, 5-5. The Mustangs took a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the sixth, and UCLA tied the contest, 6-6, in the top of the seventh. Babineau reached on a double, moved to third on a base-hit by left fielder Justin Uribe and scored on a pass ball.

After Cal Poly added one run in the bottom of the inning, UCLA scored twice on a fielder's choice followed by an error in the top of the eighth, handing the Bruins an 8-7 advantage.

The Bruins return to action at Cal Poly on Friday, March 14. Game time at Baggett Stadium is slated for 6 p.m.

Game Notes: Left-hander Tim Murphy's scoreless inning streak was snapped at 20.0 consecutive innings, as Cal Poly scored one run with two outs in the bottom of the first inning...Murphy allowed seven runs and 12 hits in 6.2 innings, making his fourth start of the season (four strikeouts, two walks)...Alden Carrithers registered four hits for the second time this season and for the fourth time in his Bruin career...UCLA last collected 17 hits or more at Arizona State on May 11, 2007.


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