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Dunlap Powers UCLA to 6-3 Win And Series Sweep

Blair Dunlap Squares One Up
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Blair Dunlap Squares One Up via farm4.static.flickr.com

Blair Dunlap's only hit on Saturday was a grand slam, but that came in a shalacking of Washington. On Sunday, Dunlap's only hit was a three run homer, but it proved to be the difference in the Bruins' 6-3 win over the Huskies that completed the UCLA sweep. Yet again Charles Brewer gave the Bruins an outstanding start without picking up the win as the junior went 6.1 innings and struck out eight while allowing only two runs, one earned.

As has been the case in the entire series, UCLA was first on the board. Niko Gallego led off the third inning with a hit by pitch and the next two UCLA batters were also plunked. Following a strikeout by Dunlap, Cody Decker lifted a fly ball to center field that allowed Gallego to tag up from third and put the Bruins up 1-0.

Only a half inning later the Huskies equalized. After consecutive singles to lead off the inning, Brewer got a pair of outs, but Washington's Brett Wilcox singled up the middle to bring a run home.

The 1-1 scoreline would last into the bottom of the sixth when the Bruins were able to push another run across. Decker and pinch hitter Marc Navarro each singled to begin the sixth to put runners on the corners. Then, Gino Aielli hit into a 6-4-3 double play, but Decker scored from third on the play and UCLA reclaimed the lead.

Again though, Washington did not stay behind for long. Following a one out triple in the seventh, Brewer was pulled in favor of Rob Rasmussen. Rasmussen couldn't even get past his first batter though before the Huskies scored as Aielli was charged with a passed ball that allowed the Huskies to even up the game.

The UCLA offense broke out in the bottom of the seventh though and it began with the bottom of the order. With one out, the #9 hitter Gallego hit the first pitch he saw into right field for a double. Then, after taking a first pitch ball, Eddie Murray smacked one into right field for a single that scored Gallego. A throwing error on Murray's single allowed him to take second and a passed ball moved him to third before Justin Uribe walked to put runners on the corners. That's when Dunlap struck, driving a ball over the fence in left center for a three run homer that extended UCLA's lead to 6-2.

With two out in the eighth, Rasmussen allows a solo shot to Troy Scott to make the score 6-3. The Huskies got a single to follow the home run, sputting head coach John Savage to take the ball from Rasmussen and hand it to his closer, Gavin Brooks. Brooks got the final out of the eighth inning on a strikeout, then retired the Huskies in order in the ninth to seal the 6-3 UCLA victory,

Rasmussen's 1.1 inning, one run effort earned him the win and improved his record to 3-2, while Brooks' 1.1 perfect innings earned him his fifth save of the year.

Dunlap's three RBI led the Bruins and his homer was the only one UCLA hit in the ball game. Decker and Murray each had a pair of hits, a RBI and a run for the Bruins, while Gallego led the Bruins with two runs scored.

The series sweep moved the Bruins to 17-19 on the year and 9-6 in Pac 10 play, which has them in fourth place tie with USC. UCLA's next contest will be a trip to Riverside where they will play a solid Highlanders team that beat the Bruins 11-1 in the season's first week. After that, the Bruins will continue a stretch where they play seven of eight and 12 of 16 at home with a visit from #16 Oregon St.

Pac 10 Standings
1. Arizona St.........13-2
2. Oregon St..........8-4
    Washington St...8-4
4. UCLA................9-6
    Southern Cal.....9-6
6. Stanford............7-8
7. Washington.......4-8
    California..........5-10
9. Oregon..............3-9
10. Arizona...........3-12