With his Bruin team in a jam in the bottom of the ninth, baseball coach John Savage called upon his best arm to try and seal a much-needed win against one of the best teams in the country.
Tim Murphy, usually the ace starter of the weekend rotation, was up to the task.
The Bruins led 6-3 with one out in the ninth inning when junior left-hander Brendan Lafferty gave up a pair of hits and walked one to load the bases. The shaky performance forced Savage to bring in Murphy to finish the game.
The passionate southpaw did just that, retiring two of the three batters he faced to help UCLA (26-23, 8-10 Pac-10) escape with a critical 6-4 non-conference victory over No. 12 UC Irvine (33-14, 10-8 Big West) Tuesday at Anteater Ballpark.
"Murphy’s our Friday guy and came in with a good attitude," catcher Brent Dean said. "He was pretty fired up and that carried on to the rest of the team. He came in with one out and did his job."
Again let’s hope this win gives them some much needed momentum to pull off a series win against Washington State at Jackie Robinson this weekend. The first game is this Friday at 6 pm and it will be the final three games at UCLA this season. So make your plans to head out to the ball park this weekend now.
Over to the hoops front, Diane Pucin from the LA Times finally woke up and discovered the news of UCLA might be getting Morgan:
UCLA is "99%" of the way to replacing Kevin Love with another highly regarded center.
That's the likelihood that J'Mison "Bobo" Morgan, a 6-foot-11 high school star from Dallas, will play for the Bruins next season, his mother, Bianca, said Tuesday.
An official announcement, she added, could come as soon as today. […]
At Morgan's request, Louisiana State on Tuesday released him from his commitment, allowing him to reopen the recruiting process.
During his original recruitment, UCLA, Kansas and Alabama were Morgan's other finalists, and Bianca Morgan said UCLA "now feels right."
Brady, now the coach at Arkansas State, agreed.
"Ben Howland's a great coach. At UCLA they'll develop him quickly," he said in a telephone interview. "LSU was right by releasing him. UCLA is a good place for him to be."
The addition of Morgan makes UCLA's incoming recruiting class far and away the nation's best, according to analysts such as Dave Telep of Rivals.com and Jerry Meyer of Scout.com.
Again we will wait till something official happens and then readjust our depth chart for next season. Needless to say we are making progress from the worst case nuclear scenario that we had laid out right after the end of this past season.
Lastly, we will end with yet another note on Southern Cal. Remember the video of Brendon Carroll, University of Second Choice alerted us to a week ago today? Well the video has been pulled, the LA Times dutifully provided this explanation out of Heritage Hall today:
The video was produced by USC and originally posted on Pete Carroll's website as part of a "mic'd up" series. It was taken down from the site when the school started getting negative feedback from those who didn't perceive it as a joke.
"It was just a silly thing we wanted to do because Brennan takes so much ownership of the walk-on tryouts," said Ben Malcolmson, director of online media for petecarroll.com. "That was our goal. It was taken by a lot of people in the way it was not intended. It wasn't serving its purpose if it wasn't being received in the right light."
Malcolmson said when the video was first posted April 8 it was "overwhelmingly well received. But as time went on, I think it sort of shifted to a more negative perception."
Pete Carroll said the intent of the video was a "spoof."
"As we went through the process, we were just having fun with it," he said. "Sometimes stuff can be misinterpreted or misused or not received well."
Well we certainly had fun with it. I think Bruins100NCAA made the key point on this last week:
I don't think we are giving Neu credit enough thinking that the only reason he has to show this tape to recruits is to point out that they would have retards screaming at them if they go to SC. Moreover, after viewing the tape, I did not find much overtly offense in Lil Pom Pom's style of "coaching" however lacking it was. This guy was just motivating these walk-ons. It's refreshing to see that they have a walk-on program I have to say.
But I think that Neu has a more nuanced argument in mind. Coupled with the Bush scandal and the imminent sanctions and the lack-luster (for SC) recruiting this year, maybe Neu is demonstrating that their whole program is heading in the wrong direction.
Certainly this tape shows that Petey engages in nepotism and is an employer of **********. But I think that Neu is trying to demonstrate something else: "Go there and you will be getting screamed at by ******; come here and you will get Walker, Chow, and I." That is a powerful draw to someone concerned about a future in the NFL. The level of coaching is Neu's ace-in-th-hole at this point and to a recruit, this video shows you the quality of coaching you are getting, not just from the head coach but at every level.
If SC can't bring itself to coach walk-ons, or at least doesn't feel the need to coach them, what should a high school kid think when considering going into such a program?
Kind of makes sense to me.
On another point we do have to give Southern Cal and Pete Carroll credit (and I mean this sincerely) for having an aggressive outreach strategy via "online media." That is good tactical move on his part given the world we now live in. However, the underlying strategy behind that tactic is little screwed up as evidenced by the kind of content that has been coming out under Southern Cal’s official seal of approval. Then again based on what we have been hearing about their athletic department last few days, I guess no one should be surprised.