UCLA Makes It Two Straight Vs. NC State, 5-4
March 4, 2006
RALEIGH N.C. - Brandon Crawford had four hits, including a home run and a triple, and Dave Huff pitched 7 1/3 strong innings Saturday to lift UCLA past NC State 5-4 in the second game of a three-game series at Doak Field. The Bruins, who improved to 8-9 with the victory, won the first game of the series 7-3 on Friday. The Wolfpack, which lost consecutive games for the first time this season, dropped to 13-3.
Huff (2-2) was masterful. He allowed four runs on 11 hits, but pitched out of a pair of bases-loaded jams and stranded 10 baserunners, seven of them in scoring position. He walked four and struck out three, with all three strikeouts coming with the bases loaded. Paul Oseguera struck out the only two men he faced to earn his second save of the season and his second of the series. Gib Hobson (4-1) pitched well until running into trouble in the fifth, when he allowed a pair of two-run homers. Hobson worked five total innings and was charged with five runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out two.
Crawford, who was a perfect 4-for-4 and played picture-perfect defense at shortstop, drove in two runs for the Bruins, as did Chris Jensen, who hit UCLA's other home run. Matt Camp, back in the leadoff spot, went 3-for-5 for NC State, and Ramon Corona went 3-for-5. Aaron Bates went 2-for-4 with a solo homer, and Brian Aragon went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Matt Mangini had one hit and two RBIs in five trips. His one hit extended his hitting streak to 16 games.
The Bruins broke on top 1-0 with a run in the top of the first. Crawford led off and stroked a triple into the right-field corner, then scored on a wild pitch from Hobson. Camp led off the bottom of the inning for the Pack and singled up the middle. Huff balked Camp to second base, and Camp took third on Bates's grounder to third. Jon Still walked to put runners on the corners, and Aragon beat out a slow roller to second base for an RBI single that tied the game at 1-1.
The Wolfpack mounted a serious threat in the bottom of the third, only to have Huff slam the door. Camp led off with a single up the middle and Bates bunted for an infield single, with Camp taking third when the throw from Jermaine Curtis at third base skipped past first base for an error. Still hit into a force play, with Bates erased at second and Camp holding at third. Still went to second on a wild pitch, and Aragon walked to load the bases, but Huff fanned Corona and Mangini, his first two strikeouts of the game, to pitch out of the jam.
The score held at 1-1 until the top of the fifth, when Crawford followed a Ryan Babineau single with a two-run home run to right field. Curtis followed with a double to left and Jensen made it 5-1 with another two-run homer to right.
NC State got one run back when Bates led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer to straightaway center field. Aragon doubled just off the glove of Will Pennial's glove in the left-field corner and went to third on Corona's single to left field. Mangini grounded to second to drive in Aragon and trim the lead of two runs at 5-3.
The Pack mounted a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh. Aragon walked and went to second on Corona's single to left. Mangini fought off a pitch on his hands and dunked it into center field for an RBI single that cut the lead to 5-4, but Huff came up big again before the inning was over. Matt Payne walked to load the bases with two down, but Mangum went down swinging for Huff's third strikeout of the game, all three of which helped him pitch out of bases-loaded jams.