Feb. 24, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The No. 9 UCLA baseball team lost at UC Santa Barbara, 7-6, Tuesday afternoon in the Bruins' first road game of the season. Each team swatted three home runs, as Cody Decker, Casey Haerther and Eddie Murray each netted two hits - including one homer each - for the visiting Bruins (2-2) at UC Santa Barbara's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Haerther (2-for-4) and Decker (2-for-5) each collected two RBI and scored one run. Murray (2-for-4) recorded one double in addition to his first career home run, finishing with two runs and one RBI. Left fielder Justin Uribe was the only other Bruin to record a multiple-hit game, going 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run.
UC Santa Barbara shortstop Shane Carlson led the Gauchos, going 1-for-4 with a two-run home run and two runs scored. Third baseman Robby Cummings netted a game-high three RBI for UC Santa Barbara.
Bruin left-hander Matt Grace (0-1) absorbed his first career loss, allowing six runs (five earned) and five hits in 4.1 innings. Grace finished the afternoon with two strikeouts and two walks.
UC Santa Barbara right-hander Mike Ford (1-0) recorded the win in his first start of the season. Ford logged five strikeouts and issued three walks, surrendering four runs and seven hits. Right-hander David Meals limited UCLA to two runs and five hits in four innings to secure his first save of the season.
UCLA belted back-to-back home runs in the top of the first to assume a 3-0 lead. After shortstop Niko Gallego drew four-pitch walk to open the game, Haerther belted a one-out homer to straight-away center field. Decker followed with a solo blast to the same location.
UC Santa Barbara responded with a three-run blast by Cummings in the bottom of the second to tie the contest, 3-3. A solo home run to right field by center fielder Brian Gump in the bottom of the third gave UC Santa Barbara a 4-3 advantage.
The Bruins evened the contest, 4-4, with one run in the fourth. Murray lined a double down the left-field line and scored from second on a single to right field by Uribe.
The Gauchos scored three runs in the fifth to secure a 7-4 cushion. Right fielder Mark Haddow led off with an infield single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and stole third before scoring on a one-out single to right by left fielder Gunnar Terhune. A two-run homer by Carlson handed the Gauchos a three-run lead.
UCLA scored two runs in the top of the sixth to cut UC Santa Barbara's margin to 7-6. Murray led off the frame with a home run to left field. After consecutive singles by Uribe and Haerther, Decker lined a base-hit off the left field wall to score Uribe.
The Bruins return to action against UC Riverside on Wednesday. Game time at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium is slated for 6 p.m.
Game Notes: Tuesday's game at UC Santa Barbara marked the first of 14 games that UCLA will play away from home in a 17-game stretch (Feb. 27-March 25)...Casey Haerther and Cody Decker connected for back-to-back homers in the first inning, the first time UCLA accomplished that feat since May 10, 2008, at Oregon State (Cody Decker, Raul Duran)...freshmen Steve Rodriguez and Tyler Rahmatulla recorded their first collegiate hits in back-to-back at-bats in the top of the second inning...left-hander Brendan Lafferty tied his career high with four strikeouts; Lafferty allowed three hits and walked one in 2.2 scoreless innings of relief...Tuesday's contest marked UCLA's first appearance at UC Santa Barbara since May 9, 2006.