June 2, 2008
FULLERTON, Calif. - The UCLA baseball team's season came to a close late Monday evening with a 5-4 loss to host Cal State Fullerton in the deciding game of the Fullerton Regional at Goodwin Field. Center fielder Tim Murphy led UCLA (33-27) at the plate and in the outfield, going 2-for-4 with one run and a crucial outfield assist.
UCLA's ninth-inning rally fell short, as the Bruins stranded Murphy at third base to end the ballgame. Murphy led off the ninth with an infield single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by pinch-hitter Eddie Murray and took third base on a groundout. Third baseman Jermaine Curtis recorded the final out, flying out to center field.
Cal State Fullerton (41-20) advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals and will host Stanford next weekend.
Right-hander Brian Wilson (3-2) earned his second victory in the regional, allowing three runs and four hits in four innings. Bruin left-hander Rob Rasmussen (0-2) was tagged with the loss, surrendering three runs in three innings. Cal State Fullerton's Jeff Kaplan notched his first save, allowing one run in three innings of relief.
Wilson also led Cal State Fullerton offensively, going 2-for-4 with a game-high two runs. Shortstop Christian Colon went 2-for-4 with one RBI.
Cal State Fullerton took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Third baseman Joel Weeks led off the frame with an infield single, moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a single through the left side by second baseman Joe Scott. With two outs, right fielder Erik Komatsu lined a single to right field, scoring Scott.
UCLA tied the contest, scoring two runs in the top of the fourth. Dunlap opened the inning with a solo homer to left field, cutting the Bruins' deficit in half. Second baseman Alden Carrithers drew a walk, moved to third on a double to the by first baseman Casey Haerther and scored on a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Ryan Babineau.
The Titans regained the lead with a two-run fourth inning. Wilson singled to left to open the frame, and left fielder Gary Brown followed with a bunt single. A double inside the left-field line by catcher Dustin Garneau scored both runners, handing Cal State Fullerton a 4-2 lead.
The Bruins added one run in the top of the fifth inning, reducing Cal State Fullerton's lead to 4-3. Right fielder Brady Dolan led off the inning with a single to center field and advanced two bases on consecutive wild pitches by Wilson. A single inside the right-field line by catcher Brent Dean scored Dolan.
Cal State Fullerton loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth inning, and Wilson scored on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Garneau.
UCLA added its final run of the game in the top of the eighth inning, as Murphy scored from second base on a single by Curtis after having led off the frame with a double to center field.
Game Notes: The UCLA baseball team ended its season having become the first team in program history to advance to the postseason for three consecutive seasons...UCLA finished its 2008 campaign with a 33-27 overall record, totaling 33 wins or more for the third straight season - the last time the Bruins accomplished that feat was from 1985-1987...five Bruins earned All-Fullerton Regional honors - Blair Dunlap, Brandon Crawford, Jermaine Curtis, Alden Carrithers and Casey Haerther...Haerther moved into a three-way tie for third place on UCLA's single-season doubles list, delivering his team-leading 23rd double of the season in the top of the fourth inning (Bill Scott, 2000; Tim DeCinces, 1995; Eric Karros, 1987).