March 15, 2008
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Second baseman Alden Carrithers registered his second four-hit effort of the weekend, finishing 4-for-6 with a season-high three RBI to lead the No. 11 UCLA baseball team past Cal Poly, 12-9, Saturday afternoon at Baggett Stadium. UCLA (10-5) won the final two games of the three-game series to record its second consecutive series victory.
Carrithers finished the three-game road series hitting 10-for-17 (.588) with two doubles, four runs and four RBI at Cal Poly (7-9). Carrithers now leads the Bruins with a .444 batting average in all 15 games. Third baseman Jermaine Curtis finished 3-for-6 with one home run and a season-high four RBI in the series finale.
Left-hander Gavin Brooks (1-0) allowed five runs and six hits in five innings to earn the victory. Brooks recorded four strikeouts and issued three walks in his third start of the season. Cal Poly right-hander Brian Grening (0-1) absorbed the loss, allowing three runs and three hits in two innings of relief. Left-hander Brendan Lafferty notched his first save of the season. Lafferty pitched 1.2 scoreless innings of relief, allowing one hit while striking out two hitters.
Saturday's game featured two rain delays - a 53-minute break in the bottom of the first and a 38-minute delay in the bottom of the eighth inning. Following the rain delay in the bottom of the first, Cal Poly immediately claimed a 2-0 lead with back-to-back two-out solo home runs by center fielder Logan Schafer and third baseman Brent Morel.
Over the weekend, UCLA scored to tie or take the lead after each inning in which the Mustangs scored. The same proved true on Saturday, as the Bruins overcame an early 2-0 deficit. A four-run UCLA second inning began when designated hitter Cody Decker and shortstop Brandon Crawford drew a hit-by-pitch and walk, respectively. Decker moved to third on a fly to center and scored on a groundout by center fielder Justin Uribe. After left fielder Brady Dolan drew a walk, Curtis belted a two-RBI double to left-center field, scoring Crawford and Dolan. An errant throw from Mustang catcher Josh Thomas to third base, in pursuit of Curtis, sailed into left field, allowing Curtis to score on his double.
The Bruins added one run on a bases-loaded wild pitch in the top of the fifth, expanding their cushion to 5-2. Cal Poly tied the ballgame, 5-5, with a three-run third inning. The Mustangs led off the frame with four consecutive hits - two doubles and two singles. A two-RBI double by Schafer tied the contest with nobody out in the inning.
Curtis answered for the Bruins in the top of the sixth, belting a two-run homer over the left field fence to hand UCLA a 7-5 advantage. The Bruins added one more run in the seventh inning, as Crawford's bunt single plated right fielder Gabe Cohen from third base, and two runs in the top of the eighth.
Following the second rain delay - at which time Cal Poly loaded the bases - the Mustangs added four runs to cut UCLA's lead to 10-9. A two-out rally in the top of the ninth allowed UCLA to assume a 12-9 lead.
UCLA returns to the field against Long Beach State on Friday, March 21 at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Game time is 6 p.m. The Bruins and 49ers will play a doubleheader Saturday, March 22, at Blair Field, beginning at 1 p.m.
Game Notes: Jermaine Curtis tied his career high with four RBI (also had four vs. Arizona on April 27, 2007)...Gavin Brooks retired 10 consecutive hitters from the first through third innings...Saturday's game marked UCLA's second ballgame this spring with at least one rain delay - the second rain delay Saturday afternoon featured a hailstorm...Brandon Crawford finished the weekend series hitting 6-for-10 with one double, three runs, three RBI and three stolen bases.