April 27, 1997
No. 2 UCLA Defeats No. 13 USC, 14-4
LOS ANGELES - UCLA sophomore center fielder Eric Valent hit for the cycle, tripling in the first, homering in the second, singling in the fifth and doubling in the sixth. Earlier this season, Valent was a single away from the cycle at UNLV. Valent helped lead the Bruins to a 14-4 victory over the Trojans on Sunday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium. UCLA avoided being swept, as USC won on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium, 10-6, and on Saturday afternoon at Dedeaux Field, 11-2. The two teams split the season series, 3-3.
With the win, UCLA moves into sole possession of second place in the Pacific-10, Southern Division and trails first place Stanford by two games. Next weekend, UCLA plays at California while first-place Stanford hosts Arizona. Then the following weekend, in the final Six-Pac series of the season, UCLA hosts Stanford. USC is in sole possession of third place. The Trojans finished with a 17-13 league record and trail UCLA by one game and Stanford by three games.
UCLA opened the game up early by scoring three in the first and four in the second after USC had scored a run in the top of the second. Valent's three-run home run in the second inning knocked USC starter, sophomore Steve Immel (6-4), out of the game.
Junior lefthander Peter Zamora pitched the first complete game of his career after going eight and two third innings in each of his last two starts. Zamora (5-2), who allowed just four runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out eight, won his third consecutive start and remained undefeated at home (3-0).
Junior shortstop Troy Glaus blasted a three-run home run over the right field wall in the sixth inning. It was his 26th of the season. He needs three more home runs to tie and four to break UCLA's all-time record for home runs in a season, set by Jim Auten (1979) and Paul Ellis (1990).
Senior left fielder Jon Heinrichs, who scored on the Glaus home run, singled on the second inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Heinrichs, who was 2-for-4, has had a multi-hit game eight of his last nine games. USC was led offensively by junior second baseman Wes Rachels, who was 3-for-5 with a home run, his second of the season. Senior first baseman Greg Walbridge, who was 4-for-5 on Saturday, had a two-run single in the fifth inning to cut UCLA's six-run lead down to four. Sophomore center fielder Robb Gorr collected two hits in four at bats.
USC's starting catcher, freshman Eric Munson, had to leave the game due to a bruised arm, suffered when he was hit by a back swing.
USC: Immel, Penney (2), Saenz (6), Weibling (6), Sanchez (7), Jones (8) and Munson, DePippo (5). UCLA: Zamora and Cloud. HR: Rachels (2) (USC), Byrnes (13) (UCLA), Glaus (26) (UCLA), Valent (16) (UCLA).