Baseball Bows to UCLA
Mar. 1, 1998
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA baseball team exploded for five runs in the top of the eighth inning, led by a three-run home run by freshman 3B Garrett Atkins, to break a 7-7 tie and defeat No. 2 USC, 12-7, in a Pacific-10 Conference Southern Division game on Sunday afternoon at Dedeaux Field.
The Trojans (13-4 overall, 4-2 in the Pac-10 South) were trying to sweep the three-game series after winning on Friday and Saturday. The Bruins improved to 8-10, 3-5.
After trailing the entire game, USC chipped away at UCLA's lead and finally tied it at 7-7 in the bottom of the seventh when junior LF Jason Lane doubled to the left-center field wall, was sacrificed to third by junior DH Dominic Correa and scored on a suicide squeeze play by senior pinch-hitter Jeff DePippo.
The Bruins came right back in the top of the eighth and took the lead for good. After getting two runners on via walks, senior RF Eric Byrnes hit an RBI single and Atkins followed with his second home run of the season. Atkins was 3-for-5 on the day. The Bruins added an unearned run later in the inning.
Freshman LHP Bobby Roe (1-1) picked up the win in relief for the Bruins, going 3 2/3 innings and allowing four hits, one run, one walk and striking out three. Junior reliever Craig Jones (1-1) took the loss for the Trojans.
UCLA also had home runs by senior LF Brett Nista, who hit a two-run shot in the top of the first, and freshman SS Chase Utley, who led off the top of the fifth with a solo home run.
Lane homered for USC, a solo shot in the second inning, and was 3-for-5, as was senior 3B Morgan Ensberg.
The Trojans travel to UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday (March 3) for a 2 p.m. game, then host Oregon State this weekend (March 6-8) in a three-game series.
UCLA 303-010-050 -12-15-2 USC 110-301-100 - 7-11-2 Brandt, Roe (6) and Green. Saenz, Immel (1), Jones (4), Kramer (8), Flores (8), Weibling (9) and Munson. WP -- Roe (1-1) LP -- Jones (1-1) HR: UCLA -- Nista (4), Atkins (2), Utley (3); USC -- Lane (5)