April 22, 2007
Los Angeles - Left fielder Will Penniall hit 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBI as the No. 24 UCLA baseball team defeated Cal State Northridge, 12-8, and swept the three-game series at Jackie Robinson Stadium Sunday afternoon. Right-hander Brant Rustich (3-1) limited the visiting Matadors to three hits in 3.1 scoreless innings of relief and tallied four strikeouts to earn the victory.
With Sunday's 12-8 win, UCLA (22-16) has now won 14 of its last 16 games, including eight of its last 10 home contests. The Bruins have swept three teams (at Stanford, at USC and Cal State Northridge) over the course of the last four weekends. The 16-game span is UCLA's most successful stretch since 1997, the last season in which the Bruins earned a trip to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
UCLA received one hit from each player in the starting lineup and eight starters scored one or more runs. Third baseman Jermaine Curtis posted his second 3-for-4 performance in as many games, and shortstop Brandon Crawford finished 2-for-5 with one run and one RBI. Second baseman Alden Carrithers continued his hot hitting with a 2-for-4 effort, two runs and one RBI.
Cal State Northridge's Mark Haderlein (3-4) absorbed the loss, allowing two unearned runs without recording an out. Matador center fielder Amiel Traynum led the visitors with a 2-for-5 effort, one run and one RBI.
After sweeping Saturday's afternoon doubleheader - which featured a comeback victory in game two by the Bruins - UCLA erased a two-run deficit late Sunday against Cal State Northridge (13-28), scoring once in the sixth and twice in the seventh to assume a 9-8 lead.
Trailing 8-7 in the bottom of the seventh, catcher Ryan Babineau drove home designated hitter Casey Haerther from third with one out. Curtis followed with a two-out RBI-single to give UCLA a 9-8 lead.
The Bruins used a four-run second inning to take an early lead and added one in each of the fourth and fifth innings to lead 6-2. The Matadors rallied with six runs in the sixth to lead 8-6. In Cal State Northridge's six-run inning, Matador first baseman Jorge Andrade, Jr. belted a three-run home run to left (his sixth round-tripper of the season), to cut UCLA's advantage to 6-5. The Matadors added two more runs with three singles, one walk and two errors.
UCLA added a run in the sixth after Carrithers doubled and scored on Crawford's base hit. After scoring two runs to take the lead in the seventh inning, the Bruins added three more runs in the eighth. UCLA took advantage of a base-hit by Crawford and back-to-back doubles by Penniall and right fielder Gabe Cohen. Center fielder Tim Murphy's sacrifice bunt plated Cohen from third.
The 24th-ranked Bruins return to action at UC Riverside on Tuesday, April 24. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.
Game Notes: Gavin Brooks retired the first nine hitters he faced, and struck out five consecutive batters in the first and second innings; Brooks allowed seven runs (five earned) off four hits and finished with seven strikeouts in 5.0 innings...Will Penniall recorded a career high with three runs and established a new season high with three hits...Jermaine Curtis hit 3-for-4 in game two on Saturday and in Sunday's series finale - the third baseman hit .571 (8-for-14) through UCLA's four victories last week...the Bruin pitching staff totaled 40 strikeouts through 36.0 innings pitched last week.