UW Drops To Second Place After 4-3 Loss To UCLA
May 23, 2004
SEATTLE - The UCLA baseball team used three solo homers, including two from shortstop Ryan McCarthy, to edge 13th-ranked Washington, 4-3, Sunday at Husky Ballpark in the UW's final Pac-10 game of the season.
The loss dropped the Huskies (34-18-1 overall, 15-9 in the Pac-10) into second place in the Pac-10 standings, a half-game behind No. 1 Stanford (42-11, 14-7), which beat USC, 8-2, Sunday. Arizona State must beat the Cardinal twice next weekend in Palo Alto to give the Huskies a share of the Pac-10 title. If ASU were to sweep Stanford, the Devils would move into a tie for first alongside the Huskies, who beat both of those teams two out of three this season.
UCLA (31-26, 12-9), could also still technically tie for the conference title if the Bruins sweep Oregon State next weekend in Corvallis and ASU sweeps Stanford. Washington finished 15-9 in the conference for the third straight season, good for third place in the two previous years, but for no worse than second this season.
UCLA opened the scoring with a run in the second. With runners at first and third with one out, center fielder Jarrad Page narrowly beat out a would-be double play to send home the runner from third. The Bruins made it 2-0 in the third when McCarthy hit his 11th home run of the season, a two-out solo shot.
Washington cut the lead in half with a two-out rally in the third. Taylor Johnson was hit by a pitch with two down, moved to second on a Brent Lillibridge single and scored on a single from senior second baseman Greg Isaacson.
In the fifth, Bruins first baseman Brandon Averill led off with a home run to stretch the lead back to two runs at 3-1.
However, in the sixth, the Huskies took advantage of the a third-strike wild pitch to post a run. With two down and none on, Lillibridge swung and missed at strike three, but the pitch was in the dirt and got by the catcher, allowing him to reach. Isaacson followed with bloop double in front of diving UCLA left fielder Billy Susdorf and Lillibridge, who was running on the pitch, scored all the way from first to cut the Bruins' lead to 3-2.
Washington finally drew even, scoring another two-out run in the sixth. With Zach Clem aboard at second with two down, designated hitter Ben Johnson fouled off several 0-2 pitches before bouncing a single through the left side, driving home Clem to tie the game at 3-3.
McCarthy broke the tie with his second homer of the day and 12th of the year, hitting a two-out solo blast to center off of UW reliever Trent Baysinger in the eighth to give the Bruins a 4-3 edge.
The Huskies mounted a modest rally in the ninth when Lillibridge singled. However, he was thrown out trying to steal second to end the game after having successfully stolen in his last 16 consecutive attempts this season.
Baysinger (3-4) suffered the loss by virtue of allowing McCarthy's home run. Bruins reliever Adam Simon (2-3) held the UW scoreless over his three innings for the win.
Neither starting pitcher figured in the decision. UW sophomore Matt Kasser worked seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits while walking two and striking out six. UCLA's Wes Whisler also surrendered three runs on five hits and two walks, fanning five in his six innings of work.
Next weekend at Husky Ballpark, the regular season comes to an end with a three-game, non- conference series against UC Irvine.
LINESCORE Pac-10 Conference UCLA 4, #13 Washington 3 UCLA 011 010 010 -- 4 7 1 Washington 001 011 000 -- 3 7 1 Wes Whisler, Adam Simon (7) and Chris Denove. Matt Kasser, Trent Baysinger (8) and Aaron Hathaway. W - Simon (2-3). L - Baysinger (3-4). 2B - UW, Zach Clem, Greg Isaacson. HR - UCLA, Ryan McCarthy 2 (12), Brandon Averill (8). T - 2:44. A - 913. Records: UCLA 31-26, 12-9 Pac-10; UW 34-18-1, 15-9 Pac-10.