May 12, 2009
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA baseball team recorded 15 hits and its pitching staff combined for 13 strikeouts in a 15-2 victory over Long Beach State on Tuesday evening at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Designated hitter Gino Aielli and left fielder Justin Uribe each went 3-for-3 to help UCLA (25-24) capture the two-game season series against Long Beach State (24-24).
UCLA, which had four multiple-hit efforts and five multiple-RBI performances, has won 12 of its last 17 games.
Right-hander Garett Claypool logged another solid midweek start, tying his career high with eight strikeouts in 4.1 innings. Claypool allowed two runs and seven hits and did not issue any walks. Left-hander Rob Rasmussen (4-2) earned the victory in relief, tossing 1.2 hitless innings, surrendering one walk and notching two strikeouts.
Long Beach State right-hander Josh Corrales (1-2) absorbed the loss, allowing five runs and five hits in 2.1 innings. The 49ers were led at the plate by designated hitter John Hill, who went 2-for-4.
The Bruins led the entire way, scoring twice in the second inning to claim a 2-0 lead. Uribe led off the bottom of the second with a single and advanced on a fielding error by left fielder Matt Avery. A base-hit to center by Dunlap plated Uribe. With the bases loaded, catcher Steve Rodriguez grounded into a double play, scoring Dunlap.
Long Beach State sliced UCLA's lead in half with one run in the third. A double to the gap in left-center by shortstop Devin Lohman scored second baseman Derek Legg from first.
The Bruins pushed their margin to 6-1 with a four-run third inning. With the bases loaded, Dunlap drew a walk, sending home Aielli, who led off the frame with a single. A double to left by right fielder Chris Giovinazzo and an ensuing fielding error by Avery allowed UCLA to clear the bases.
UCLA added three runs in the fourth inning to secure a 9-1 advantage. Murray opened the fourth with a triple off the wall in left-center and scored when Aielli followed with a double to deep left. After Decker walked, Uribe singled to center and advanced two bases on a fielding error by Long Beach State center fielder Tre Dennis. Aielli scored on the base-hit, and Decker scored from first base on the error.
The 49ers scored one run in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly to right by right fielder TJ Mittelstaedt, scoring third baseman Kirk Singer.
The Bruins scored three runs in each of the fifth and eighth innings. A two-RBI single up the middle by third baseman Casey Haerther scored Rodriguez and Aielli in the bottom of the fifth. After a two-out double down the left-field line by Decker, Uribe reached on an infield single to score Haerther from third. In the eighth, Rodriguez connected for a three-run homer, the second round-tripper of his career, to hand UCLA a 15-2 lead.
The Bruins returns to action at No. 5 Cal State Fullerton on Friday. Game time at Goodwin Field is slated for 7 p.m. The three-game series shifts to UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium on Saturday (6 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.). A live audio broadcast of each game will be available online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com.
Game Notes: Gino Aielli registered his fourth game of the season with three or more hits and the second two-double game of his UCLA career...Blair Dunlap went 1-for-3 with two runs and two RBI, notching his 10th multi-RBI effort of the season - Dunlap collected his team-leading 57th hit...Steve Rodriguez collected a career-high three RBI...Cody Decker scored two runs, going 1-for-3 with a double and two walks...Eddie Murray went 2-for-4 with one run, tallying his 14th multi-hit game of the spring...Blair Dunlap and Cody Decker have each hit safely in UCLA's last eight games.