April 13, 2008
LOS ANGELES - First baseman Casey Haerther and designated hitter Cody Decker totaled three hits to power the UCLA baseball team past UC Riverside, 9-5, Sunday afternoon, as the Bruins recorded their first three-game weekend sweep of the season.
UCLA (17-13) raced to a 5-0 lead after two innings, and left-hander Gavin Brooks (3-2) limited the visiting Highlanders (9-21) to four runs (two earned) and six hits in eight innings. Brooks, who earned his third victory of the season, recorded a season-high eight strikeouts, hurling at least eight innings for the second consecutive Sunday.
Haerther went 3-for-5 with four RBI and one run and one double. The Bruins' first baseman finished the weekend hitting at a .667 clip, going 10-for-15 with two home runs, eight RBI and five runs.
Decker went 3-for-5 with one run and two doubles. Third baseman Jermaine Curtis, left fielder Alden Carrithers and second baseman Niko Gallego each recorded two hits - Curtis and Gallego each hit one triple.
UC Riverside left-hander Paul Bargas (1-4) absorbed the loss, surrendering eight runs and 11 hits in 4.1 innings. Drew Garcia, Joey Gonzales and Trevor Hairgrove each totaled two hits for the Highlanders.
The Bruins led from the start, scoring three runs in the first inning and two in the second. With Curtis aboard second and Crawford at first, Haerther brought home both runners with a double down the left-field line. Haerther moved to third after a single by Decker and center fielder Blair Dunlap lifted a sacrifice fly to left field, handing the Bruins a 3-0 cushion.
In the bottom of the second, Carrithers led off the inning with a double to left-center, moved to third on a fly out to right by Curtis and scored on Crawford's triple to right-center. A single to center by Haerther sent home Crawford.
UC Riverside cut the Bruins' lead to 5-3 in the third. After Hairgrove walked, center fielder Carl Uhl reached safely on a throwing error by Curtis. Gonzales singled to center and Garcia's groundout sent home Uhl. A single to center by first baseman Aaron Wible plated Gonzales. The Highlanders scored another run in the fourth inning to trail 5-4.
UCLA responded with two runs in the fourth inning and one in the fifth. Carrithers led off the fourth with a single to center and scored on Curtis' triple to right-center. A groundout to shortstop by Haerther sent home Curtis. In the fifth inning, Gallego lined a triple to right-center and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Carrithers.
The Bruins tacked on their ninth run of the afternoon in the bottom of the seventh. Decker registered his third hit of the day - a double to the left-center field gap - and scored from third on a single up the middle by Gallego.
UC Riverside cut the Bruins' lead to 9-5 with one run in the ninth inning, before designated hitter Brandon Schnebly grounded into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded.
UCLA returns to action Tuesday, April 15, against Cal State Northridge. Both teams will resume a previously-suspended game at 4:30 that afternoon (UCLA leads, 22-2, entering the bottom of the eighth inning). The Bruins and Matadors will continue with the regularly-scheduled contest at 6 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Game Notes: Casey Haerther went 11-for-20 (.550) in four games during the week, collecting three home runs, three doubles, nine RBI, six runs and two stolen bases...Brandon Crawford and Alden Carrithers each went 8-for-17 (.471) in four games last week...Crawford registered two home runs, one triple, three doubles, six RBI and six runs...Gavin Brooks has posted a 2.20 ERA in his last two starts, earning the victory in each outing - Brooks has logged 12 strikeouts while limiting the opposition to six runs (four earned) and 10 hits in 16.1 innings...Carrithers extended his season-long hitting streak to 11 games and has hit safely in 26 of 30 games.