Feb. 20, 2009
LOS ANGELES - Sophomore left-hander Rob Rasmussen limited UC Davis to two hits, striking out five, in five scoreless innings to earn his first collegiate victory as the No. 12 UCLA baseball team downed UC Davis, 13-1, Friday evening on Opening Night at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Rasmussen (1-0) allowed just three baserunners, surrending two hits and one walk, in the third start of his career. UC Davis' Jeremy McChesney (0-1) absorbed the loss, allowing six runs off six hits and five walks in 3.1 innings.
UCLA (1-0) took advantage of 11 hits and 12 walks to win its third consecutive season-opening ballgame. Center fielder Blair Dunlap went 3-for-3 with a clutch two-out, two-RBI double to left field in the bottom of the third, handing the Bruins an early 2-0 cushion. Right fielder Gabe Cohen (2-for-4) and first baseman Casey Haerther (2-for-3) were the two other Bruins to record multiple-hit games.
Designated hitter Cody Decker reached base in each of his four plate appearances, lining a single to center field and drawing three walks. Shortstop Niko Gallego went 1-for-3 with two runs, two RBI and two walks, in addition to making several standout defensive plays in his first career start as UCLA's shortstop. Chris Giovinazzo, playing in the outfield and behind the plate, went 1-for-2 with a two-RBI, pinch-hit triple.
Freshman Chris Amezquita belted UCLA's only home run of the evening, lining a two-run blast over the left-field fence in his first collegiate at-bat, a pinch-hit at-bat in the bottom of the seventh inning. Amezquita became the first Bruin to belt a home run in his first collegiate game since Tim Murphy accomplished the feat on Feb. 3, 2006 (vs. Fresno State).
The Bruins scored in four innings. Dunlap's two-run double put UCLA on the board in the third before the Bruins added seven runs in the fourth inning. UCLA's seven-run inning featured three hits and four walks, allowing the Bruins to pad their cushion to 9-0.
Giovinazzo's two-run triple in the sixth pushed UCLA's lead to 11-0, and Amezquita's first collegiate round-tripper in the seventh gave the Bruins a 13-0 advantage.
UC Davis scored one run in the bottom of the ninth inning, as catcher Joseph Medeiros plated first baseman Eric Johnson with a two-out double to the gap in left-center field.
UCLA and UC Davis resume their three-game series on Saturday, Feb. 21. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Bruins will send freshman right-hander Gerrit Cole to the mound, and UC Davis will counter with junior left-hander Andy Suiter.
Game Notes: UCLA captured its third consecutive win in season-opening ballgames...in all, 18 Bruins saw action in Friday evening's victory (15 position players, three pitchers)...right-hander Garett Claypool recorded three strikeouts and allows one hit in two scoreless innings...Friday' game marked the UCLA debut for five Bruins - junior Alex Weber-Shapiro, redshirt freshman Marc Navarro and true freshmen Chris Amezquita, Tyler Rahmatulla and Steve Rodriguez...Friday's contest marked the first college baseball game between UCLA and UC Davis.