UCLA Bounces Back to Beat #4 ASU, 8-3

Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N

On Friday night the Bruins suffered a frustrating 10-5 defeat at the hands of Arizona St., but they battled back to win game two of the series on Saturday, 8-3. At the newly dedicated Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium, UCLA took an early lead and not only hung on (something they couldn't do Friday), but extended their lead and won rather comfortably. RHP Charles Brewer earned the win for his 5.1 innings of work in which he allowed three runs and LHP Matt Drummond earned the save for his 3.1 scoreless innings.

UCLA jumped out to an early lead in the first when SS Brandon Crawford singled home CF Blair Dunlap to put the Bruins ahead 1-0. In the third inning 1B Casey Haerther proved why he is the big bat in the Bruins lineup when he belted a 2-0 pitch over the left field fence that also brought home 3B Jermaine Curtis.

Following Haerther's two run shot the Sun Devils found themselves trailing 3-0, but made a run at the Bruins' lead when they strung together four hits in the fourth innings. Those four hits plated two for Arizona St. and it was a one run game again, 3-2.

The Sun Devils made a pitching change to start the fifth and Curtis welcomed the Arizona St. reliever to the game by smacking his first pitch well over the left field fence to give UCLA a 4-2 lead.

Arizona St. would challenge the UCLA lead again when they loaded the bases in the sixth. After RHP Jason Novak came in for Brewer and got the second out of the inning, Drummond relieved Novak with the bases still loaded. The first batter Drummond faced battled the southpaw, fouling off two full count pitches before walking and bringing a Sun Devil home from third to make it 4-3. With their lead down to only one and the bases still loaded, Drummond came up with a good changeup that the batter pounded into the ground for a simple groundout and the Bruins escaped with their 4-3 lead intact.

Feeling the pressure from Arizona St., UCLA added another run to their lead in their half of the sixth to give themselves some breathing room. RF Brady Dolan got the inning started when he singled and the senior moved over to third on a double by C Ryan Babineau. With runners at second and third and only one man out, Curtis came to the plate and came through for the Bruins. The junior flied out to deep right, allowing Dunlap to score easily and UCLA was ahead 5-3.

The Sun Devils would push the Bruins again in the seventh when they put runners on first and second with only one out. With the go ahead run now at the plate, Drummond handled the pressure again by getting a fly out and strike out to get out of the jam.

UCLA would tack on a few more runs on in the eighth when Babineaue singled home two and 2B Alden Carrithers doubled home Babineau. That 8-3 lead was plenty for Drummond who shut down the Sun Devils the rest of the way and UCLA picked up a key Pac 10 win over the nation's fourth ranked team.

Dolan and Babineau led the way at the plate for the Bruins as each picked up some key hits at the bottom of the Bruin lineup. Dolan reached base in all four of his at-bats, going 3-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Meanwhile, Babineau went 2-4 with a run and two RBI and his two hardest hit balls of the day went for outs. Curtis had a solid day, going 1-3 and picked up two runs and two RBI. Crawford also went 1-3 and picked up an RBI of his own. Carrithers went 1-2 on the day and walked three times to go with an RBI of his own, while Haerther made his only hit count with his two run homer.

The Bruins and Sun Devils will conclude their three game set tomorrow at 1 pm when the two clubs take the field at Jackie Robinson Stadium. If you can, head on out to the stadium and watch two great squads filled with great players (I was told 28 of the 30 major league clubs sent a scout to at least one game this weekend). If you do head out, don't be afraid to cheer and clap because it gets tiresome hearing the Sun Devil fans' A-S-U chant with no response from the Bruins. If you can't make it out to the game, you can listen to it or follow it on GameTracker via the official site.

Pac 10 Standings:

1)Arizona St.-      11-6  (----)
   Stanford-         10-5  (----)
3)Cal-                  9-8  (2 GB)
4)UCLA-               7-7  (2.5 GB)
   Washington-      7-7  (2.5 GB)
   Oregon St.-       8-8  (2.5 GB)
7)Southern Cal-   7-10 (4 GB)
   Arizona-           7-10 (4 GB)
9)Washington St.- 4-9  (5 GB) 

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.

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