April 6, 2008
LOS ANGELES - Left-hander Gavin Brooks (2-2) limited USC to two runs and four hits in 8.1 innings Sunday afternoon as the No. 23 UCLA baseball team defeated USC, 4-2, before 1,432 fans at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Right-hander Jason Novak induced a game-ending ground ball double play in the top of the ninth with the bases loaded to earn his first career save.
UCLA (14-12, 3-3 Pac-10) salvaged the three-game series by overcoming an early 2-0, first-inning deficit against the visiting Trojans (15-15, 4-5 Pac-10). Shortstop Brandon Crawford recorded his second multi-hit game in as many days, going 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI. Alden Carrithers went 1-for-3 with two RBI and one run, belting his second solo home run in as many afternoons.
USC right-hander Brad Boxberger (1-1) was tagged with his first loss of the season, allowing three runs and six hits in six innings. Boxberger recorded seven strikeouts and did not issue a walk.
Trojan shortstop Grant Green went 3-for-5 with two singles and one double. First baseman Derek Perren and left fielder Taylor Grigsby were the only other Trojans to hit safely against UCLA.
In the top of the first, Grigsby led off the contest with a single up the middle and scored from first base on an ensuing double to center by Green. After advancing to third on a flyout, Green scored on a wild pitch, handing the Trojans an early 2-0 advantage.
UCLA cut USC's advantage in half with one run in the bottom of the first. Third baseman Jermaine Curtis reached on a double to right-center field and scored on the next at-bat, as Crawford grounded a base-hit into center field.
The Bruins tied the ballgame, 2-2, with Carrithers' home run in the top of the third.
In the bottom of the fifth, catcher Brent Dean led off the inning with a double to left field and moved to third base on a bunt single by second baseman Niko Gallego. A fly out to center field by Carrithers sent home Dean, who scored the game-winning run.
UCLA scored once in the eighth inning, as pinch-hitter Mickey Weisser grounded a two-out single under a diving Perren at first base with runners at first and second, sending home Crawford.
The Bruins return to action against UC Irvine at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Admission to Tuesday's game for adults and children costs just two dollars.
Game Notes: Gavin Brooks pitched into the ninth inning, recording one out before giving way to Jason Novak...several lineup changes included Niko Gallego making his first career start at second base and Alden Carrithers making his first career start in left field...with the win, UCLA and USC split the four-game season series, as USC won the three-game weekend series at UCLA...each athletics department is awarded 2.5 points in the Lexus Gauntlet Challenge.