April 25, 2006
LOS ANGELES -
UC Santa Barbara hit three home runs to take an early 6-2 lead through three innings and fought off a five-run UCLA rally in the eighth inning to hang on for an 11-8 upset win over the No. 22-ranked Bruins on Tuesday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The loss drops UCLA to 23-17 overall while the Gauchos improve to 17-20 overall.
Freshman Brandon Crawford hit his fifth home run of the season, junior Hector Ambriz nailed his fourth home run of the season, and freshman Cody Decker and senior Anthony Norman each had two-run pinch hit singles.
The UCLA pitching staff went through eight different arms in the game, and combined for a season-high nine walks.
UC Santa Barbara used back-to-back homers off of UCLA starter Brian Schroeder in the second inning to take a 4-0 lead. Mario Lewis hit a three-run blast to center field with two outs, and Alden Carrithers followed with a solo jack to right field to put the Gauchos up by four early.
The Gauchos raced out to a 6-0 lead over the Bruins in the third inning on a two-run home run by Matt Emerick off of Schroeder.
UCLA would get two runs back in the bottom of the third inning to cut the UCSB lead to 6-2 on a two-run bomb by Crawford to right field after freshman Ryan Babineau led the inning off with a walk.
UCLA would walk the bases loaded in the top of the sixth inning. With two outs, Matt Clark made the Bruins pay with a three-run double to right center field on a 0-2 count to put the Gauchos up 9-2.
Ambriz cut the UCSB lead to 9-3 on a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning for the Bruins.
The Bruins exploded in the eighth inning for five runs to cut the Gaucho lead to 9-8. UCLA got things started with three-consecutive walks to freshman Jermaine Curtis, senior Chris Jensen and Ambriz to open the set. Senior Brett McMillan singled down the left field line to score Curtis from third. Freshman Tim Murphy then lined into a double play to third as McMillan was caught too far off the bag at first for the second out of the inning.
UCLA would not go down quietly, however. Norman laced a pinch hit single through the right side to score Jensen and Ambriz and cut the UCSB lead to 9-6. Junior Will Penniall then hit a pinch hit double down the right field line to give the Bruins runners at first and third. Decker followed with a pinch hit bloop single to center to score Norman and Penniall and cut the deficit to 9-8.
The Bruins could not keep things close after that. With Gauchos at first and second and two outs in the top of the ninth, junior Kevin Brophy came into the game in relief of freshman Robert Dickmann. Brophy walked Shane Carlson to load the bases, and walked Chris McMurray to score Chris Valaika from third to put UCSB up 10-8. Brian Gump would score from third in the next at bat on a passed ball to give the Gauchos a three-run cushion at 11-8.
UCSB continues action this weekend with a three-game home conference series against Cal State Northridge. Friday's first game is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.