Palo Alto, Calif. - First baseman Cody Decker belted two home runs and tallied a career-high six RBI to lead UCLA past Stanford, 16-11, Saturday afternoon at Sunken Diamond. Decker finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with two runs scored and 10 total bases to lead the Bruins (12-14, 2-0 Pac-10) and their season-high 24-hit assault on the Cardinal (13-11, 0-2 Pac-10).
The Bruins won their first series at Stanford since 1997. UCLA led by as many as 16-2 before Stanford responded with a nine-run ninth inning. Second baseman Alden Carrithers and right fielder Gabe Cohen each finished 4-for-5 at the plate, and shortstop Brandon Crawford hit 4-for-6 with three runs scored, two RBI and one home run. UCLA totaled four home runs, and three players finished with four hits.
Sophomore left-hander Tim Murphy (1-1) pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed four hits to earn his first career victory. Murphy turned in his most effective performance of the season, striking out seven while issuing three walks. The southpaw from Vista, Calif., retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced. Stanford right-hander Jeffrey Inman (2-2) was tagged with the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) off five hits in 1 1/3 innings.
First baseman Cody Decker blasted his first home run in the third inning, a three-run shot to left, giving the Bruins an early 3-0 advantage. Carrithers singled to left and Crawford reached first on a fielding error by Stanford second baseman Adam Sorgi, allowing Carrithers to take third base. Decker then followed with a high fly ball beyond the 335 sign in left field.
The Bruins built a 5-0 cushion with a two-run second inning and added one run in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings to assume an 8-0 lead. Decker delivered in the sixth inning with a three-run shot over the left field fence - in nearly the same spot as his previous home run - to put UCLA ahead 11-0.
Stanford scored its first two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning before UCLA scored five in the ninth. After Weisser and center fielder Brady Dolan scored on separate ground ball outs, Crawford belted a home run to left field, plating Carrithers. First baseman Tim Stewart followed with a solo blast to left.
The Cardinal responded with a nine-run outburst in the bottom of the ninth. Stanford right fielder Michael Taylor led the charge with a three-run home run to left-center field. The Cardinal tallied nine runs off 10 hits in the final inning to cut the Bruins' margin to 16-11.
UCLA and Stanford conclude their three-game series at 1 p.m. Sunday. The Bruins will send left-hander Gavin Brooks to the mound, and the Cardinal will counter with right-hander Nolan Gallagher.
Game Notes: The Bruins improve to 136-185 overall against the Cardinal and have won four of the last five meetings...Alden Carrithers extended his hitting streak to eight games...the Bruins will have the opportunity to sweep Stanford at Sunken Diamond on Sunday, a feat that no team has accomplished since Arizona State did so in 1997 (April 11-13) - the Cardinal have not been swept in any of their last 71 regular-season home three-game series.