April 15, 2007
Los Angeles - Designated hitter Cody Decker blasted a two-out grand slam to center field in UCLA's five-run eighth inning to lift UCLA past USC, 12-9, and allow the Bruins to sweep the host Trojans for the first time since 1987. Decker finished the afternoon 3-for-5 at the plate with a career-high six RBI and hit one home run in each game at USC (19-18, 2-7 Pac-10) over the weekend.
UCLA (18-16, 8-1 Pac-10) won its 10th game in its last 12 contests and, at 8-1 in the Pac-10, has posted its best-ever conference start (through nine games). The Bruins have won six-consecutive road games, all Pac-10 contests, and overcame a four-run deficit for the second time in as many days.
The Bruins were led offensively by catcher Ryan Babineau (2-for-5), who totaled one home run and three RBI. Shortstop Brandon Crawford hit 2-for-4 with two runs, and third baseman Jermaine Curtis finished 2-for-5 with two runs and one RBI.
Brant Rustich (2-1) picked up the victory for UCLA, and Robert Stock (2-1) absorbed the loss for USC.
USC's Hector Estrella led the Trojans with a 3-for-5 effort at the plate, one run and three RBI.
UCLA trailed 4-0 after three innings and clawed its way back with one run in the fourth and two runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings, to lead 5-4. USC tied the contest, 5-5, in the sixth, before both teams traded runs in the seventh inning. Decker's grand slam came with two outs in the top of the eighth, when UCLA led 7-6.
USC got on the board first, scoring two runs in the first inning before adding one run in each of the third and fourth innings. Designated hitter Matt Cusick and shortstop Garrett Green led off the first inning with singles and each runner moved up 90 feet on a sacrifice fly to right by first baseman J.J. Owen. Cusick scored on a sacrifice fly by left fielder Lucas Duda, and Green came home on a base hit by second baseman Hector Estrella.
The Trojans scored their second-inning run on a walk, two errors and a pass ball. USC added its fourth run using back-to-back two-out doubles by Estrella and right fielder Roberto Lopez in the fourth inning.
The Bruins took their first lead of the afternoon when catcher Ryan Babineau blasted a two-run home run to right, giving UCLA a 5-4 advantage in the top of the sixth. USC answered with one run in the bottom of the sixth, tying the contest, 5-5.
Trailing 4-3, UCLA regained its lead with a run in the top of the seventh. Right fielder Gabe Cohen's double to left field brought home Crawford from first base, handing the Bruins a 6-5 cushion. The Trojans responded with a run in the bottom of the inning when Estrella singled to second base to send home Green from third.
In the top of the eighth, Carrithers lined a base-hit to right field, scoring pinch-runner Tim Murphy from second and sending third baseman Jermaine Curtis to third before Decker's heroics lifted UCLA to a five-run cushion.
The Bruins return to action Tuesday, April 17, to host Pepperdine in a non-conference tilt at Jackie Robinson Stadium. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.
Game Notes: With the series win over USC, the Bruins earned five points in the 2006-07 Lexus Gauntlet Challenge to reach the 57.5-point total needed to win the trophy - UCLA leads USC, 57.5 to 22.5 this season; UCLA has not yet won the Lexus Gauntlet Challenge, as the final result is pending the outcome over several remaining spring sports...the Bruins have hit 20 home runs through their last 13 games...Decker has totaled eight of his nine home runs in UCLA's last 13 contests...Gavin Brooks allowed five runs (four earned) off nine hits in 6.0 innings as the Bruins' starting pitcher - Brooks struck out three and walked one.