UCLA Baseball Outlasts No. 17 Oregon State, 7-5

April 24, 2009

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LOS ANGELES - The UCLA baseball team overcame a four-run deficit after three innings and held on to defeat No. 17 Oregon State, 7-5, in a Pac-10 series opener Friday evening at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Center fielder Blair Dunlap went 3-for-4 with one home run, one double and three runs to lead the Bruins (18-20, 10-6 Pac-10) past the visiting Beavers (23-10, 8-5 Pac-10).

Friday evening's game, which was scheduled to air on FSN Prime Ticket (tape delayed) on Saturday, will not be broadcast due to technical difficulties.

UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole (4-3) earned the victory, recording seven strikeouts in five innings. Cole surrendered five runs and four hits and walked six batters. Oregon State right-hander Tyler Waldron (3-3) absorbed the loss, allowing six runs (four earned) and 10 hits in five innings. Waldron struck out three and walked one.

Bruin left-hander Gavin Brooks notched his team-leading sixth save, allowing one hit while recording three outs in a scoreless ninth inning.

Including Brooks' ninth-inning performance, UCLA received quality relief outings from right-hander Jason Novak and left-hander Matt Grace. Novak pitched a scoreless sixth inning, recording one strikeout. Grace followed with two hitless frames, notching two strikeouts and no walks.

First baseman Cody Decker went 2-for-3 with one run and two RBI, and designated hitter Casey Haerther went 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI. Right fielder Justin Uribe went 2-for-4 with one run.

Oregon State raced to a 2-0 first inning lead, taking advantage of one walk, a run-scoring triple by catcher Ryan Ortiz and an RBI-single by first baseman Jared Norris.

The Bruins answered in the bottom of the second with a solo homer over the scoreboard in right-center field by Decker, who belted his team-leading 14th round-tripper of the season. With his blast, Decker moved into a tie for eighth place with Garrett Atkins on UCLA's all-time home run list (40).

The Beavers added three two-out runs in the top of the third. After Ortiz singled to right, third baseman Stefen Romero connected for a two-run homer to left-center field. Two walks, one hit batter and one balk allowed Norris to score, pushing Oregon State's advantage to 5-1.

UCLA rallied with three runs in the fourth before adding one pair of runs in the fifth. Dunlap led off the fourth with a single and advanced to third on Haerther's base-hit to center. Third baseman Tyler Rahmatulla plated Dunlap with an infield groundout. Left fielder Gabe Cohen reached on a two-out error, allowing Haerther to score UCLA's third run. After stealing second base, Cohen scored on a single through the right side by shortstop Niko Gallego.

The Bruins scored the game-tying and game-winning runs in the bottom of the fifth. With Uribe at third and Dunlap aboard second after a double to left, Decker belted a deep sacrifice fly to center field, allowing both runners to advance 90 feet. Haerther followed with a double to right field, allowing Dunlap to score the go-ahead run.

With one out in the seventh, Dunlap lined a solo homer to left-center field, extending UCLA's lead to 7-5.

UCLA resumes its three-game series against No. 17 Oregon State on Saturday. Game time at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium is slated for 2 p.m.

Game Notes: UCLA has won eight of its last 11 games and extended its Pac-10 win streak to four contests...Cody Decker's home run in the second inning pushed his season total to 14 round-trippers...Eddie Murray was hit by a pitch for the 13th time this season, moving into a three-way, second-place tie for most hit by pitches in a single season in UCLA's current record books.

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