April 21, 2007
Los Angeles - Right fielder Mickey Weisser's high chopper bounced over shortstop Jason Dabbs, allowing Jermaine Curtis to score from second base in the bottom of the ninth and lead No. 24 UCLA past visiting Cal State Northridge, 6-5, at Jackie Robinson Stadium early Saturday evening. In game one of the afternoon doubleheader, the Bruins downed the Matadors, 8-3.
The Bruins' ninth-inning began with a single to center by Curtis, who took second on a sacrifice bunt by second baseman Alden Carrithers. Shortstop Brandon Crawford drew an intentional walk. With two outs, Weisser delivered the game-winning hit to extend UCLA's winning streak to six games. The Bruins (21-16) have won 13 of their last 15 contests, including seven of their last nine home games.
UCLA right-hander Jason Novak (3-0) earned the victory, as he struck out five and allowed just one run off two hits in 4.1 innings of relief. Cal State Northridge's Brian Slover (0-2) absorbed the loss, allowing one run off two hits.
Curtis led UCLA offensively, as the sophomore from Fontana, Calif., finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Crawford posted a 2-for-3 effort with one RBI.
The UCLA pitching staff recorded 13 strikeouts, two shy of the squad's team season-high. Left-hander Tim Muprhy struck out a season-best eight Matadors in 4.2 innings as UCLA's starting pitcher.
Cal State Northridge (13-27) led 5-3 heading into the bottom of the eighth. Bruin left fielder Will Penniall tied the contest with one swing of the bat, belting his first home run of the season over the right-center field fence. Decker scored on Penniall's fourth career home run.
The Bruins got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when shortstop Brandon Crawford singled home third baseman Jermaine Curtis. The Matadors answered in the top of the second with one run off two hits. With the bases loaded, shortstop Jason Dabbs scored on a wild pitch to tie the game, 1-1.
Cal State Northridge took a 3-1 lead in the third inning when third baseman Todd Shelton hit a two-run home run to left. In the bottom half of the third, UCLA cut the Matadors' lead to 3-2. With runners aboard second and third, first baseman Cody Decker brought home Curtis on a groundout to shortstop.
The Matadors added one run in the top of the fifth on an RBI-triple by first baseman Jorge Andrade, Jr.
UCLA trailed by one run after center fielder Justin Uribe brought home Weisser with a groundout, reducing the Matadors' lead to 4-3. Cal State Northridge added a run in the eighth inning on a fielder's choice by designated hitter Brian Slover, scoring third baseman Todd Shelton.
UCLA and Cal State Northridge conclude their three-game series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Bruin lefty Gavin Brooks will start for UCLA, and Cal State Northridge will send right-hander Edwin Quirarte to the mound.
Game Notes: Tim Murphy recorded four-consecutive strikeouts in the third and fourth inning; the Vista, Calif., native struck out the side in the fourth...Jermaine Curtis tied his career high with three hits (last, at California; March 28, 2006)...Curtis scored three runs in a game for the seventh time in his career...Brandon Crawford tallied his team-leading 18th multi-hit performance of the season.