March 23, 2009
LOS ANGELES - Third baseman Casey Haerther went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer, three runs and three RBI to lead the UCLA baseball team past USC, 17-2, Monday evening at Dedeaux Field. The Bruins set a school record for margin of victory in the all-time series against USC, eclipsing the previous 14-run margin set on May 17, 1955, when the Bruins upended the Trojans, 18-4.
Right-hander Charles Brewer (1-2) earned the victory, limiting the Trojans to two runs and six hits in 6.1 innings while logging seven strikeouts. USC right-hander Kevin Couture (3-2) was tagged with the loss, surrendering six runs (four earned) and five hits in 2.1 innings.
The 2-games-to-1 series victory over USC helped UCLA acquire five points in the annual Lexus Gauntlet Challenge, an annual multi-sport competition between the crosstown rivals.
UCLA established several single-game season-highs on Monday with 17 runs, 16 hits, 13 RBI, four doubles and 26 total bases. Right fielder Justin Uribe contributed to the Bruins' RBI total, going 1-for-4 with a two-out grand slam and two runs scored. The Bruins also received multiple-hit efforts from shortstop Niko Gallego (2-for-5) and first baseman Cody Decker (2-for-4).
The Bruins opened the scoring with a six-run third inning and never looked back. UCLA raced to a 3-0 lead on a three-run blast to deep left-center field by Haerther. The Bruins followed with a one-out, two-RBI double down the left field line by Cohen before designated hitter Alex Weber-Shapiro scored from third base on a pass ball.
UCLA claimed a 13-0 lead with a seven-run fifth inning. The Bruins scored their first three runs of the inning on three singles and two errors by USC. Uribe followed with a two-out grand slam to right field on an eight-pitch at-bat, pushing the lead to 13-0.
The Bruins added one more run in each of the sixth and seventh innings before scoring one pair of runs in the top of the ninth.
Trailing 15-0 in the bottom of the seventh, USC scored two runs off two walks and three singles.
UCLA returns to action at No. 17 Pepperdine on Wednesday, March 25. Game time at Pepperdine's Eddy D. Field Stadium is 3 p.m. The Bruins will host a three-game Pac-10 series against Arizona beginning Friday, March 27 at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Game Notes: Third baseman Casey Haerther continued his fine junior campaign going 7-for-14 with two homers, eight RBI and five runs in three games at USC's Dedeaux Field...Haerther raised his batting average to a team-leading .393 mark...UCLA's logged its highest run total (17) since defeating UC Riverside at Jackie Robinson Stadium by an 18-7 tally on April 12, 2008...UCLA outscored USC, 32-11, in the three-game Pac-10 series...the Bruins have won nine of their last 12 games against USC...left-hander Matt Grace scattered two hits in 1.2 scoreless innings of relief...left-hander Gavin Brooks recorded three strikeouts and one walk in a hitless ninth inning of relief...redshirt freshman outfielder Marc Navarro recorded his first collegiate hit in the top of the eighth inning, lining a two-out single to right field off Ricky Oropesa.