April 21, 2009
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The UCLA baseball team absorbed a 17-6 loss to UC Riverside on Tuesday evening at Riverside Sports Complex. After falling behind 5-1 in the first inning, the Bruins closed the gap to 6-4 before the Highlanders (21-13) pulled away for the non-conference victory.
UCLA's four-game win streak was snapped, as first baseman Cody Decker led the Bruins (17-20) by going 3-for-5 with one home run, two RBI and two runs. Center fielder Blair Dunlap notched the Bruins' only other multiple-hit effort, as he went 2-for-5 with one triple and one run.
UC Riverside right-hander Matt Larkins (2-1) earned his second victory of the season, limiting the Bruins to two runs (one earned) and three hits in 3.1 innings of relief. UCLA right-hander Garett Claypool (0-1) absorbed the loss, surrendering four runs off three hits and one walk in the bottom of the first inning.
The Highlanders received 4-for-5 performances at the plate from third baseman Ryan Goetz and right fielder Joey Gonzales. Goetz finished the contest with a game-high four RBI and one run, and Gonzales netted one RBI and a pair of runs. UC Riverside designated hitter Michael Hur (3-for-4), center fielder Carl Uhl (3-for-6), catcher Robert Brantly (3-for-5) and first baseman Brian McConkey (3-for-3) each registered three hits.
UCLA scored one run in the top of the first before UC Riverside answered with a five-run first inning. The Highlanders led off their frame with a solo homer to right field by Uhl. The Highlanders followed with one walk, back-to-back singles and a two-RBI double by Brantly. UC Riverside added its fifth run with a run-scoring infield single by McConkey.
The Bruins added one pair of runs in the top of the second to trim UC Riverside's lead to 5-3. With the bases loaded, shortstop Niko Gallego lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, allowing catcher Gino Aielli to score. A fielding error with two outs on a ground ball hit by right fielder Justin Uribe plated third baseman Tyler Rahmatulla.
Hur belted a two-out home run off the left-field foul pole to extend UC Riverside's lead to 6-3 in the second. UCLA answered with a solo homer to center field by Decker in the top of the third, closing the gap to 6-4.
The Highlanders plated five runs in the bottom of the third, taking advantage of five singles and one RBI-triple, to secure an 11-4 lead. UC Riverside added one run in the fourth after right fielder Joey Gonzales led off the frame with a double to right field before scoring on McConkey's single to right field.
UCLA added two runs in the top of the fifth, reducing UC Riverside's lead to 12-6. Dunlap and Decker each scored after having led off the frame with back-to-back base-hits.
UC Riverside scored three runs in the sixth to assume a 15-6 lead. The Highlanders used two walks, two singles and one sacrifice bunt to expand their cushion to nine runs before scoring twice in the eighth inning.
UCLA returns home to open a three-game Pac-10 series against Oregon State on Friday, April 24. Game time is slated for 6 p.m. Friday evening's game will be broadcast on FSN Prime Ticket on a tape delayed basis - the game is scheduled to air on Saturday at 12 p.m.
Game Notes: Cody Decker belted his team-leading 13th home run in the third inning, moving into sole possession of 10th place on UCLA's all-time home runs list (39)...Brendan Lafferty moved into third place on UCLA's all-time pitching appearances list (89).