UCLA Baseball Defeats No. 5 UC Irvine, 8-3

April 7, 2009

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LOS ANGELES - First baseman Cody Decker belted a go-ahead two-run homer, his team-leading 10th round-tripper of the season, to hand the UCLA baseball team a 3-2 lead in the third inning, and the Bruins held on for an 8-3 victory over No. 5 UC Irvine on Tuesday evening at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

UCLA pounded out 15 hits against UC Irvine, as seven Bruins each recorded two hits. Decker went 2-for-3 with one home run and three RBI, and second baseman Eddie Murray went 2-for-3 with three RBI and one run. Catcher Gino Aielli led UCLA (12-17) with three runs, going 2-for-3 with two walks, and left fielder Brett Krill went 2-for-3 with one run. Right fielder Justin Uribe, third baseman Casey Haerther and shortstop Niko Gallego each went 2-for-4.

UCLA left-hander Rob Rasmussen (2-2) earned the victory in relief, limiting UC Irvine (19-9) to one run and three hits in three innings. Right-hander Garett Claypool registered five strikeouts in three innings as the Bruins' starter, surrendering just two runs (one earned) and four hits. Rasmussen and Claypool led UCLA's pitching staff, which did not allow any walks in a game for the first time since March 1, 2008.

UC Irvine right-hander Cory Hamilton (0-2) was tagged with the loss, allowing three runs and five hits in 2.1 innings. Hamilton exited the game in the bottom of the third after both teams sat through a 29-minute rain delay.

The Anteaters were led offensively by first baseman Jeff Cusick, who went 2-for-3 with one RBI, and right fielder Ryan Fisher, who went 1-for-3 with his third home run of the season, a solo shot in the second inning.

UC Irvine claimed a 2-0 lead with one run in each of the first two innings. In the top of the first, the Anteaters scored on a two-out single to center field by designated hitter Ronnie Shaeffer, allowing shortstop Ben Orloff to score from third. In the top of the second, Fisher belted a solo home run to right field.

UCLA cut the Anteaters' lead in half, scoring one run in the bottom of the second. With the bases loaded, Murray drew a two-out walk to score catcher Gino Aielli. The Bruins took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third on a two-run homer to right-center field by Decker. UCLA claimed a 4-2 cushion with one run in the fourth. With two outs, Decker singled to center, allowing Murray to score from second.

UC Irvine added one run in the top of the fifth. With one out and runners at the corners, first baseman Jeff Cusick lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, allowing left fielder Jordan Leyland to score from third.

In the bottom of the sixth, UCLA pushed its margin to 5-3. Haerther singled through the right side before scoring from first base on a double to left-center field by Uribe. UCLA added a pair of runs in the seventh, extending its advantage to 7-3. Gallego's sacrifice fly plated Aielli from third base, and Murray's two-out double down the left-field line scored Krill, who reached on a single before stealing second base.

A sacrifice fly by Murray in the bottom of the eighth sent home Aielli, handing UCLA an 8-3 lead.

UCLA opens a three-game Pac-10 series at Stanford on Thursday, April 9. Game time at Sunken Diamond is 5:30 p.m. The Bruins face the Cardinal on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and close the series on Saturday at 1 p.m. A live audio broadcast will be available online for each game at uclabruins.com

Game Notes: UCLA's pitching staff recorded 12 strikeouts and no walks - Tuesday's game marked the 13th time this season in which the Bruins' pitchers have combined for 10 or more strikeouts...UCLA's pitching staff did not walk any batters for the first time in a game since defeating Bethune-Cookman, 2-0, in the inaugural Urban Invitational on March 1, 2008...Niko Gallego has gone 9-for-15 (.600) in his last four games...Brett Krill recorded his first multiple-hit game as a Bruin, logging a career-high two hits...right-hander Erik Goeddel allowed one hit in 1.2 scoreless innings of relief - Goeddel notched career highs with 1.2 innings and two strikeouts...left-hander Gavin Brooks recorded the final four outs for UCLA, scattering two hits and recording two strikeouts.


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