Feb. 28, 2009
HOUSTON - The No. 9 UCLA baseball team lost to No. 6 Baylor, 5-1, early Saturday evening in its second game of the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park. Freshman right-hander Gerrit Cole limited Baylor (6-1) to one unearned run and two hits in six innings, totaling eight strikeouts and five walks, before 13,928 fans.
A triple play from a line drive hit by designated hitter Cody Decker in the bottom of the eighth proved to be a crucial play in the contest. UCLA trailed, 3-1, with nobody out and Eddie Murray aboard second and Casey Haerther at first.
Decker's low line drive was speared near the dirt by Baylor first baseman Dustin Dickerson for the inning's first out. Dickerson tossed the ball to second base, where shortstop Joey Hainsfurther stepped on the bag for the second out (forcing out Murray) before throwing the ball to pitcher Willie Kempf, who stepped on first base (forcing out Haerther). Confusion reigned among UCLA's baserunners, as they were unsure whether the line drive took a short hop into Dickerson's glove or was cleanly fielded by the first baseman.
Cole (1-1) absorbed his first career loss despite a strong effort on the mound. Baylor right-hander Kendal Volz (1-0) earned the win, allowing four hits in seven scoreless innings. Volz registered six strikeouts and issued three walks. Kempf notched his first save of the season, allowing one run and three hits in the final two innings.
UCLA (2-5) was led at the plate by center fielder Blair Dunlap, who went 3-for-4. Haerther was 1-for-2 with the Bruins' lone RBI and extended his career-long hitting streak to 18 games with a single in the eighth.
Baylor (6-1) received multiple-hit efforts from Hainsfurther (2-for-5), Dickerson (2-for-5) and center fielder Brooks Pinckard (2-for-4). Both Hainsfurther and Pinckard scored two runs for the Bears.
Baylor led from the start, claiming a 1-0 lead in the first. Hainsfurther scored from first base on a double to center field hit by Dickerson. The ball was misplayed by Dunlap, allowing the unearned run to score.
The Bears added two more runs in the top of the eighth to assume a 3-0 advantage. Baylor opened the frame with two bunt singles, including one error to put Pinckard at second base. A single to right field by Hainsfurther plated Pinckard, and consecutive wild pitches brought home Hainsfurther.
UCLA scored one run in the eighth inning. Shortstop Niko Gallego led off the frame with a walk, advanced to third base on a single up the middle by Murray before scoring on Haerther's single to the right side of the infield. Decker's line drive to first base ended the inning.
Baylor added two runs in the top of the ninth to secure a 5-1 lead.
UCLA plays No. 5 UC Irvine on Sunday in both teams' final contest at the Houston College Classic. Game time at Minute Maid Park is 9 a.m. (PT). A live audio broadcast of Sunday's game will be available online at uclabruins.com, as UCLA's Tim Wilhelm will have the call. Additionally, fans can watch Sunday's game against UC Irvine online at MLB.com (subscription required).
Game Notes: Making his second collegiate appearance (and start), freshman Gerrit Cole recorded three strikeouts in the top of the first inning...right fielder Chris Giovinazzo was credited with two outfield assists...right-hander Jason Novak logged two strikeouts in one inning of relief, allowing one run and one hit...left-hander Mitchell Beacom tallied two strikeouts in two-thirds of an inning of relief, allowing one run and two hits.