April 12, 2008
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA baseball team belted a season-high five home runs and 26 hits to cruise past UC Riverside, 18-7, Saturday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Alden Carrithers, Brandon Crawford, Blair Dunlap and Casey Haerther each recorded four hits in the non-conference victory, UCLA's third win in its last four games.
Haerther went 4-for-6 with a career-high two home runs, three RBI and four runs. Carrithers, Crawford and Cody Decker each hit their fourth home runs of the spring. UCLA (16-13) registered its largest home run total since depositing five round-trippers at N.C. State on March 5, 2006.
Carrithers went 4-for-5 with four RBI, tying his career high. Crawford went 4-for-6 with three RBI and two runs, and also provided a highlight-reel defensive play in the top of the fifth, diving to his left and standing to throw out Jordan Opdyke on what appeared to be a routine single through the left side of the infield. The Bruins' shortstop finished one triple shy of the cycle (one home run, two doubles and one single).
Right-hander Charles Brewer (4-3) earned his team-leading fourth victory, allowing seven runs and nine hits in six innings. Brewer tallied four strikeouts and walked three hitters. Garett Claypool, Brendan Lafferty and Matt Grace each hurled one scoreless innings of relief against the visiting Highlanders (9-20).
UC Riverside right-hander Matt Larkins (4-2) was tagged with the loss, allowing seven runs and nine hits in 1.2 innings.
UCLA claimed a 7-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning and led the rest of the way. With one out, Dunlap and second baseman Niko Gallego reached via a double and single, respectively. Carrithers and Curtis each followed with RBI-singles, and both runners scored on a three-run blast by Crawford. After a base-hit by Haerther, Decker followed with a two-out, two-run homer to left field.
UC Riverside answered with two runs in the third inning and three in the fourth, cutting the Bruins' advantage to 7-5. UCLA scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth to assume a 12-5 lead. The Bruins batted around in the fourth inning, as Haerther led off the frame with a solo blast to left field. A base-hit by Cohen and a double down the left-field line by Ryan Babineau were followed by an RBI-single from Dunlap and a two-run homer by Carrithers.
The Highlanders added two runs in the sixth inning, closing the gap to 12-7. UCLA scored four runs in the seventh and two in the eighth.
UCLA and UC Riverside conclude their three-game series Sunday at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Game time is 1 p.m.
Game Notes: Alden Carrithers extended his hit streak to 10 games, his second 10-game streak of the spring...Carrithers has hit safely in 25 of UCLA's 29 games...UCLA improved its all-time record against UC Riverside to 18-9, including a 5-3 mark under head coach John Savage...the Bruins' 26 hits were the most in program history since the 1997 season.