UCLA Baseball Drops Series Opener at No. 16 Oklahoma, 6-5

March 6, 2009

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NORMAN, Okla. - The UCLA baseball team lost its series opener at No. 16 Oklahoma, 6-5, late Friday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park. The Bruins nearly closed a late 6-2 deficit, scoring three runs in the final three innings, before absorbing their fifth one-run defeat of the season.

Trailing 2-0, Oklahoma (10-3) scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth and held on for the non-conference victory. Right-hander Andrew Doyle (2-1) limited the Bruins (2-8) to two runs and three hits, despite walking two and hitting seven batters.

UCLA left-hander Rob Rasmussen exited the game in the sixth inning with the Bruins ahead, 2-1, and did not record a decision. Rasmussen was charged with two runs, allowing four hits in five innings. Right-hander Jason Novak (0-1) was tagged with the loss, surrendering one run and one hit in one-third of an inning.

Oklahoma right-hander Ryan Duke notched his first save of the season, recording two strikeouts in 1.1 innings.

The Bruins were led at the plate by seniors Cody Decker and Gino Aielli, as both players belted home runs. Decker went 1-for-4 with a team-high two RBI, and Aielli went 1-for-3 with one walk.

UCLA scored one run in the top of the first with two outs. First baseman Casey Haerther belted a double to the gap in right-center field before Decker was hit by a pitch. Left fielder Gabe Cohen followed with a single to center field, scoring Haerther from second. The Bruins added one more run in the fourth. Second baseman Eddie Murray singled through the right side, sending home right fielder Chris Giovinazzo from second base.

Oklahoma scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth to assume a 6-2 advantage. First baseman Aaron Baker led off the frame with a solo homer to right field. Catcher J.T. Wise drew a walk, advanced two bases on consecutive bloop singles to the outfield by right fielder Kaleb Herren and pinch-hitter Ross Hubbard, and scored from third on a wild pitch. Second baseman Matt Harughty's bunt single down the first-base line scored Herren, handing the Sooners their first lead of the day.

A three-run, two-out homer to left field by shortstop Bryant Hernandez extended Oklahoma's cushion to 6-2.

UCLA responded in the top of the seventh with Decker's two-run homer to left field. One inning later, Aielli followed with a solo shot to left-center field, his first home run as a Bruin.

With one out in the top of the ninth, Decker lifted a deep fly ball to the gap in left-center field that was caught just shy of the 411-foot sign by Sooners' center fielder Jamie Johnson.

UCLA and Oklahoma resume their three-game series on Saturday, March 7. Game time at Oklahoma's L. Dale Mitchell Park is slated for 10 a.m. (PT). A live audio broadcast will be available online at uclabruins.com.

Game Notes: Cody Decker connected for his second home run of the season...Gino Aielli's homer in the eighth inning marked his first round-tripper as a Bruin...senior Brendan Lafferty pitched 0.2 scoreless innings in relief, lowering his earned-run average to a 0.77 mark...Friday's loss marked the fifth game in which the Bruins have dropped a one-run ballgame (two have been in extra innings).


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