May 17, 2009
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA baseball team collected 19 hits, including five doubles and two home runs, to record a 13-10 victory over No. 5 Cal State Fullerton on Sunday afternoon at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium. All nine Bruins in the starting batting lineup registered at least one hit in the non-conference win.
Playing in the final home game of their career at Jackie Robinson Stadium, the Bruins' seniors played a major part in the victory. First baseman Cody Decker went 3-for-4 with two runs and a team-leading four RBI. Decker extended his hitting streak to a season-long 11 games. Fellow seniors Gino Aielli and Dustin Quist each went 3-for-4. Quist logged a career-high three hits, including one RBI-double. Aielli finished with three runs and one RBI.
Center fielder Blair Dunlap went 3-for-5 with two doubles, pushing his total to a team-leading 17 two-baggers. UCLA (26-26) also received multiple-hit efforts from third baseman Casey Haerther, who went 2-for-5 with one homer and three RBI, and from second baseman Tyler Rahmatulla, who was 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI.
UCLA left-hander Matt Grace (4-2) picked up the victory in two innings of relief. Grace allowed four runs (three earned) and recorded three strikeouts without issuing any walks. Four UCLA pitchers followed Grace, combining to limit Cal State Fullerton (38-14) to one run and five hits in 3.2 innings.
Cal State Fullerton right-hander Tyler Pill (8-3) absorbed the loss, surrendering seven runs and seven hits in 1.2 innings as the Titans' starting pitcher. Cal State Fullerton was led at the plate by center fielder Josh Fellhauer (3-for-4, four RBI) and second baseman Shevis Shima (3-for-4, two runs).
UCLA got on the board with a three-run first inning. Aielli reached on a one-out double to left field and scored as Decker followed with a double to center. Haerther belted his ninth homer of the season, a two-run shot to left-center field, bringing home Decker to hand the Bruins a 3-0 cushion.
The Bruins added four runs in the second inning to lead 7-0. With runners aboard first and third base, Dunlap doubled to right field, sending home Quist. Aielli's sacrifice bunt allowed catcher Steve Rodriguez to score from third. A two-run homer to left field by Decker brought home UCLA's sixth and seventh runs.
Cal State Fullerton scored four runs in the top of the third, reducing the Bruins' lead to 7-4. The Titans scored one run on a sacrifice fly and added one pair of runs on a single and fielding error. The final run of the inning came on a single to center by first baseman Jared Clark.
UCLA added one run in the bottom of the third, and Cal State Fullerton answered with one run in the top of the fourth inning, cutting the Bruins' margin to 8-5.
The Bruins scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth, securing their second seven-run lead of the day. After Dunlap reached on a throwing error by Shima, Aielli singled to left field, allowing Dunlap to move to second base. A single by Decker plated Dunlap, and a throwing error on a fielder's choice hit by Haerther allowed Aielli to score. Rahmatulla singled home Haerther from second base, before Quist's double to center field scored Rahmatulla.
The Titans clipped UCLA's margin to 12-8 with one run in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth. The Bruins scored one run in the bottom of the seventh to claim a 13-9 lead.
Cal State Fullerton scored one run off three hits in the ninth inning and sent the tying run to the plate with two outs. Left-hander Gavin Brooks struck out Clark on a full count with runners in scoring position to end the game.
UCLA returns to action at No. 1 UC Irvine on Tuesday, May 19. Game time at Anteater Ballpark is 6 p.m.
Game Notes: Cody Decker belted his team-leading 19th home run in the second inning, becoming the first UCLA ballplayer to belt 19 or more homers in a single season since 2000 (three players accomplished the feat in 2000 - Forrest Johnson (23), Chase Utley (22), Bill Scott (21)...Dustin Quist recorded a career-high three hits in a 3-for-4 effort...UCLA received six multiple-hit efforts and tied its season total for most hits in a game (19, also vs. Cal State Bakersfield on May 5)...UCLA's six pitchers combined for nine strikeouts.