UCLA Baseball Downs Loyola Marymount, 6-2

April 30, 2008

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LOS ANGELES - The UCLA baseball team scored four runs in the first inning and added two more runs in the second en route to a 6-2 win over Loyola Marymount on Wednesday evening at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Right-hander Jason Novak (1-0) allowed one hit in 3.2 scoreless innings of relief, recording three strikeouts in his first win of the season.

Wednesday's ballgame not only featured a strong performance by Novak, but also by freshmen left-handers Matt Grace and Rob Rasmussen. Grace, making his first collegiate start and his 11th appearance on the mound this season, allowed two runs and six hits in 4.1 innings, recording three strikeouts while issuing just one walk.

Rasmussen pitched a hitless ninth inning, making his first appearance since fracturing his left foot on a line drive comebacker in his collegiate debut versus UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 27.

Loyola Marymount right-hander Ernie Cho (1-1) was tagged with his first loss of the season, surrendering six runs and five hits while walking three hitters in 1.1 innings. The Lions (21-24) allowed just one hit the rest of the way, as four relief pitchers combined to shut out the host Bruins (23-18) through the final 6.2 innings.

UCLA received one hit from each of six players, as right fielder Brady Dolan led the team going 1-for-3 with a two-out three-RBI triple and one run. Second baseman Alden Carrithers went 1-for-3 with two RBI and one run.

The Lions were led at the plate by designated hitter Sean Dovel, who went 3-for-4 with one solo homer.

The Bruins got on the board with four runs in the first inning. With the bases loaded, Dolan cleared the bases by lacing a two-out triple down the left-field line, handing the Bruins a 3-0 advantage. Right fielder Mickey Weisser followed by lining a single into center field to score Dolan from third.

Dovel's solo home run in the top of the second reduced UCLA's lead to 4-1.

The Bruins responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Catcher Brent Dean led off with a single up the middle, and third baseman Jermaine Curtis followed with a walk. Both runners advanced 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Blair Dunlap. A single to center by Carrithers sent home both runners, handing UCLA a 6-1 cushion.

The Lions scored once in the fourth inning, cutting the Bruins' advantage to 6-2. With one out and runners at first and second, third baseman Michael Glomb singled through the right side of the infield, sending home catcher T.J. Bernardy.

The Bruins (23-18, 6-6 Pac-10) return to action Friday, May 2, at 6 p.m. when they open a three-game Pac-10 series against Arizona State (35-7, 10-5 Pac-10). Saturday's contest, slated to begin at 4 p.m., will be televised nationally by Fox Sports Net (tape delay in Los Angeles; to air on FSN Prime Ticket at 8:30 p.m. after the Dodgers' game).

Game Notes: UCLA improved to 10-2 this season when scoring in the first inning...the Bruins' pitching staff lowered its earned run average to 4.36...Jason Novak's 3.2 innings of work established his new season high...Brandon Crawford belted his 12th career triple in the fifth inning - Crawford currently occupies third place on UCLA's career triple list...Brady Dolan's first-inning triple was his first of the season, his second in three years as a Bruin...Wednesday's game marked the first meeting between UCLA and Loyola Marymount since the schools played twice during the 2005 regular season.

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