March 3, 2008


Around the Bases
Lafferty, Carrithers carry UCLA past USC

By Phil Stanton Co-Founder


LOS ANGELES – Alden Carrithers and the UCLA Bruins have a flair for the dramatic.


After Carrithers had the game-winner in a 13-inning victory earlier in the week against UC Santa Barbara, his two-run double in the eighth carried No. 14 UCLA to a 4-3 victory over cross-town rival USC on the final day of the MLB Urban Invitational Sunday afternoon in front of 1,112 fans at Dedeaux Field.                 


Trailing 3-1 after six, junior Brandon Crawford belted his first homer of the season to pull the Bruins (5-1) to within one. With two down in the eighth, senior Brent Dean was hit by a pitch, junior Jermaine Curtis singled and Carrithers brought both in with a double to deep right center to give UCLA its first lead of the day.


“I wanted to try to hit something hard,” Carrithers said. “There were two outs at the time, first and second, the lefty left a change up up. I tried to hit it hard somewhere and I was able to do that.”


He was the hero for the second time in a week.


“The real credit goes to the guys who get on base in front of you,” Carrithers said. “I just happened to be up at bat in that situation and tried to make something happen. Guys like Dolan and Jermaine were able to get on, that really makes it happen.”


Junior left-hander Brendan Lafferty was the star on the mound, pitching the final five innings in relief. He allowed a single to the first batter he faced, then retired 14 of the final 16 batters he faced. Lafferty (1-0) allowed two hits and one walk while striking out two.


“I came in the fifth inning and tried to come in from the bullpen and throw up zeroes,” Lafferty said. “I went for five innings and it worked out.”


UCLA head coach John Savage was pleased with his junior reliever.


“Lafferty did a great job,” Savage said, “threw up five zeroes. He came in in the fifth inning and we didn’t know he was going to finish the game but he did a tremendous job. We hung in there. We battled and they didn’t give us much but it was enough at the end of the day to get the win.”


The Trojans broke through in the bottom of the third. Junior Anthony Vasquez led off with a single to right center. One out later, freshman Joe De Pinto and junior Nick Buss had consecutive base hits to load the bases. Senior Roberto Lopez sent a sacrifice fly to right to plate Vasquez. Back-to-back walks to sophomore Grant Green and sophomore Robert Stock gave USC a 2-0 lead.


USC added to its lead in the fourth as Vasquez had a one-out single up the middle, moved to third on a base hit by senior Derek Perren and came in on a sacrifice to left by De Pinto to make it 3-0.


UCLA got on the board in the top of the fifth as Curtis drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a single by Carrithers, advanced to third on a base hit Crawford and scored on a fielder’s choice by sophomore Justin Uribe to pull the Bruins to within two at 3-1.