UCLA Tops No. 20 East Carolina, 10-9
March 13, 2009
Courtesy of UCLA Athletics
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Cody Decker belted two home runs and collected a season-high five RBI to help lead the UCLA baseball team to a 10-9 comeback victory over East Carolina in game one of a doubleheader on Friday afternoon at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Playing in 30-degree temperatures and light rain, the Bruins erased a 9-4 deficit with three runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings. Right-hander Jason Novak (1-1) entered the ballgame in relief, limiting East Carolina (10-3) to two runs and three hits in 3.2 innings, to record his first victory of the season.
Left-hander Gavin Brooks notched his first career save, holding the host Pirates to one hit in 2.1 innings. With runners aboard first and second base in the top of the ninth inning, Brooks struck out ECU center fielder Trent Whitehead and second baseman Ryan Wood to end the contest. Brooks finished the game with four strikeouts and one walk.
East Carolina's Brad Mincey (3-1) absorbed the loss, allowing three runs and three hits in two innings of relief.
Decker finished the game, going 3-for-5 with three runs and five RBI. Right fielder Justin Uribe went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs, and center fielder Blair Dunlap went 2-for-5 with one run and one RBI. UCLA (4-11) also received two hits from third baseman Casey Haerther and catcher Gino Aielli.
UCLA scored four runs in the top of the first inning. With one out, Uribe lined a double to the right-center field gap, sending home Dunlap and second baseman Eddie Murray. Decker followed with a single to center, scoring Uribe from second. Three batters later, shortstop Niko Gallego was hit by a pitch with two strikes, allowing Decker to score UCLA's fourth run.
East Carolina responded with six runs in the bottom of the frame. With two runners aboard, a groundout to third base by first baseman Brandon Henderson sent home Whitehead. The Pirates followed with five two-out runs, scoring on a wild pitch, an RBI-single by shortstop Dustin Harrington, a bases-loaded nine-pitch walk and a two-RBI double to left field by Whitehead.
The Pirates added three runs in the bottom of the third to assume a 9-4 lead. Harrington led off with a double to right-center field before catcher Jared Avchen drew a walk. A triple inside the right-field foul line by Whitehead drove home both baserunners, and second baseman Ryan Wood followed with a home run to left field.
UCLA scored three runs in the top of the fifth to reduce its deficit to 9-7. Decker belted a two-run homer to left field, his team-leading fourth round-tripper of the season. With one out and catcher Chris Giovinazzo aboard first base, Dustin Quist bounced a pinch-hit single through the left side, earning his first collegiate hit. After a fielder's choice groundout, Dunlap lined a single to center field to score Quist from second base.
The Bruins took a 10-9 lead with a three-run sixth inning. Murray led off with a double and advanced to third on a single to right field by Haerther. A sacrifice fly to right sent home Murray, before Decker belted his second home run of the day, a two-run blast into the parking lot beyond the left-field fence.
Game Notes: Cody Decker recorded the third multi-home run game of his four-year career...Justin Uribe recorded his team-leading fourth multiple-hit game of the season...Dustin Quist, a redshirt junior from Fresno, Calif., recorded his first collegiate hit in the fifth inning...Blair Dunlap extended his hitting streak to a career-long nine games...Jason Novak pitched in his 76th career ballgame, moving into 10th place on UCLA's career pitching appearances list.