LOS ANGELES, CA- Junior Eric Valent blasted a home run over the right field wall with one out and no one on in the ninth inning to give UCLA a 6-5 win over No. 8 Arizona State in a Pac-10, Southern Division game at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Friday evening.
Valent's heroics spoiled a great relief performance from senior Aaron Kramer, who had allowed just one hit and no walks in 3.1 innings prior to the Valent blast.
Freshman Bobby Roe (2-1) pitched two scorless innings to earn the victory. Roe survived a scare in the ninth inning. Senior Mikel Moreno tried scoring from second on an infield single by sophomore Willie Bloomquist but freshman shortstop Chase Utley, after fielding a high-hopper, threw a bullet to junior catcher Jason Green who tagged out Moreno. With runners at first and third and two outs, Roe retired junior Andrew Beinbrink as Green fielded his bunt attempt and threw to first for the out.
Freshman Ryan Carter, an emergency starter for UCLA, turned in the best starting pitching performance for UCLA this season. The freshman leftahnder, thrown into the starting role after senior John Phillips, who was scheduled to start the game, pulled his quadricept, allowed just one earned run in seven innings (the longest outing by a UCLA starter this season) while striking out eight.
Carter and Roe were not the only freshmen who performed well for UCLA. Three freshmen started in the lineup and they all came through. Garrett Atkins was 2-4 to raise his team-leading batting average to ,377. Chase Utley hit a two-run home run in the second inning. Nick Lyon was 2-3 with two runs scored and a stolen base.
UCLA led 4-1 atter four innings. Arizona State scored four runs in the fifth inning all with two outs.Moreno hit a solo home run. Beinbrink added an RBI-single. Three of the runs were unearned due to a dropped fly ball by senior Eric Byrnes.
The Bruins tied the game in the bottom of the fifith inning on a two-out RBI single by senior Cassidy Olson.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the ninth inning.
UCLA and Arizona State will play each other again on Saturday at 4:00 p.m and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. . at Jackie Robinson Stadium
R H E ASU: 100 040 000 5 8 1 UCLA 030 110 001 6 10 3
ASU: Mills, Kramer (6), 1-1 and Halvorson; UCLA: Carter, Roe (8), 2-1 and Green 2B: ASU: Moreno (2); UCLA: Atkins (9), Lyon (3), Green (4) HR: ASU: Moreno (4); UCLA: Valent (7), Utley (4) Records: Arizona State (13-6, 3-3), UCLA (9-11, 4-5)