June 2, 2007
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Freshman Gavin Brooks (6-6) pitched a two-hit complete game to earn the win, leading UCLA past Illinois-Chicago, 3-1, Saturday evening in the Bruins' second NCAA Long Beach Regional contest before 1,579 at Blair Field.
The Bruins will play at 6 p.m. Sunday against the winner of Sunday afternoon's game between Long Beach State and Illinois-Chicago, as UCLA looks to make its first Super Regional appearance since 2000.
After surrendering an unearned run in the first inning, Brooks allowed just four baserunners through the final eight innings. The freshman from Vista, Calif., recorded seven strikeouts in his second complete game in as many weeks and his third consecutive victory. Brooks retired 11 of the final 12 Illinois-Chicago hitters.
Catcher Ryan Babineau had a strong performance at the plate, hitting 3-for-3 with one RBI and a sacrifice bunt. Center fielder Justin Uribe recorded a 3-for-4 effort with one RBI. Left fielder Will Penniall and third baseman Jermaine Curtis each tallied two hits for the Bruins (32-26).
Illinois-Chicago right-hander Zach Peterson (7-4) absorbed the loss despite allowing just three runs.
The Flames (35-20) scored their lone run on a ball up the middle that deflected off Brooks to second baseman Alden Carrithers, who made an errant throw, allowing third baseman Nick Rainwater to score in the first inning. After allowing an infield base hit in the bottom of the first, Brooks allowed just one more hit in the game - a double down the left-field line by shortstop Chad Schroeder.
UCLA scored its three runs in the fourth inning. Penniall battled on an 0-and-2 count, sending an RBI-double into right field to score designated hitter Cody Decker. Uribe plated right fielder Gabe Cohen by reaching on a fielder's choice. UCLA added its third run of the frame on a first-pitch single smacked up the middle by Babineau, allowing Penniall to score.
The Bruins will play at 6 p.m. Saturday at Blair Field. UCLA will face the winner of Saturday's 2 p.m. contest between Long Beach State and Illinois-Chicago. A win Sunday evening will send UCLA into the NCAA Super Regionals.
Game Notes: Gavin Brooks has logged a 1.05 ERA in his last three starts, amassing 16 strikeouts in 25.2 innings; the left-hander has limited opponents to a .138 batting average in that span, allowing just three earned runs and 12 hits...Ryan Babineau's postseason batting average this season remained at a perfect 1.000, as he hit 3-for-3 Saturday after finishing 2-for-2 against Pepperdine Friday...UCLA collected five hits in its three-run fourth inning.