No. 24 UCLA Baseball Loses at No. 12 Cal State Fullerton, 5-3
March 29, 2011
FULLERTON, Calif. - The No. 24 UCLA baseball team dropped a 5-3 decision at No. 12 Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday evening before 1,910 fans at Goodwin Field. The host Titans (17-8) scored three runs in the first inning and held on for the non-conference victory.
Cal State Fullerton jumped to a 3-0 first-inning lead off UCLA, as right-hander Zack Weiss (1-1) absorbed the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) and four hits through 4.1 innings in his first collegiate start (10th appearance).
Titans' right-hander Colin O'Connell (3-2) earned the victory, limiting the Bruins to three runs (two earned) and six hits in six innings. Right-hander Raymond Hernandez earned his first save of the season, allowing one hit through three scoreless frames. Hernandez logged three strikeouts and issued one walk.
UCLA (11-9) was led at the plate by Dean Espy, who went 2-for-4 with one run. Marc Navarro went 1-for-3 with a two-run single. Beau Amaral logged the game's only extra-base hit, going 1-for-4 with one double.
Jeff Gelalich reached safely in each of his four plate appearances, drawing two walks, getting hit by a pitch and driving a single up the middle in the sixth inning.
Cal State Fullerton received two-hit efforts from Richy Pedroza (2-for-4, two runs) and Tyler Pill (2-for-3, two RBI). Ivory Thomas went 1-for-3 with two runs and one stolen base.
The Titans took advantage of two hit-by-pitches and three singles in the opening frame to lead, 3-0. After Thomas was hit by a pitch, Pedroza reached safely on a bunt single. Nick Ramirez was hit by a pitch before Pill blooped a run-scoring single to shallow center field. A two-RBI single to deep center field by Carlos Lopez sent home Pedroza and Ramirez.
UCLA got on the board with one run in the fourth inning. With runners at the corners, O'Connell's pickoff attempt at first base escaped the reach of Ramirez, and UCLA's Cody Regis raced home from third base to score.
The Titans added two runs in the bottom of the fifth to assume a 5-1 cushion. Thomas reached on a leadoff bunt single to the right side of the mound. The Titans' center fielder stole second base and on an attempt to steal third, Mitchell Beacom's errant throw got past Regis at third base, allowing Thomas to score. Pedroza singled up the middle and moved to second after Ramirez was hit by a pitch. A single through the right side by Pill scored Pedroza from second.
The Bruins added two runs in the top of the sixth inning on a two-RBI single down the left-field line by Navarro with two outs. UCLA came up short in the seventh and eighth innings with runners on base.
UCLA returns home to open a three-game Pac-10 series against Washington on Friday evening. Game time at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium is 6 p.m.
Game Notes: Jeff Gelalich raised his batting average to a team-leading .308 clip (and on-base percentage to a team-high .463 mark) ... UCLA concluded a stretch of 11 road contests in a 13-game span ... Tuesday's game at Cal State Fullerton marked the Bruins' first midweek contest since a 5-2 victory at San Diego State on Tuesday, March 1 ... left-hander Mitchell Beacom allowed one run and three hits in three innings ... right-hander Nick Vander Tuig recorded one strikeout in 0.2 innings of relief.
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