May 4, 1997
Cal Baseball Upsets No. 4 Ranked UCLA, 9-8
BERKELEY, Calif. - The University of California baseball team defeated No. 4 ranked UCLA, 9-8, Sunday at Evans Diamond. Cal goes to 18-37 overall and 4-26 in Pac-10 Southern Division play, while UCLA falls to 38-15-1 overall and 17-10 in league.
The Bears broke a 10-game losing streak and won their first league game since Apr. 13 with the 9-8 win over the Bruins. All three games of the series were close as UCLA had defeated Cal, 6-5, on Friday and 7-6 Saturday.
The Bears Curtis Johnson scored on a wild pitch in the eighth inning by UCLA reliever Rob Henkel, who had actually stuck out John Furstenthal on the pitch, to break an 8-8 tie and give Cal the win. The Bears were behind 8-7 entering the eighth inning, but had tied the game on an RBI single by Ivan Lewis.
The Bears were able to hold on for the win in the ninth inning when right fielder Juan Hernandez caught a line drive off the bat of Eric Valent and was able to double-off Troy Glaus at first base. Cal reliever Jon Cuccias was able to get Pete Zamora to ground out to second base for the final out. Cuccias (1-0), who had thrown a wild pitch on Saturday to allow UCLA to win 7-6, was the winning pitcher, throwing the final 2.3 innings with one hit and one strikeout.
The losing pitcher for UCLA was Henkel (3-2), who went 2.0 innings with two hits, two earned runs, one walk and three strikeouts.
The Bears had jumped out to a 5-0 lead with five runs in the third inning off of Bruin starter Gabe Crecion. In the third, Cal got a two-run single from John Furstenthal, an RBI double by Brian Oliver, an RBI single from Aaron Gordnier and an RBI single from Jason Hill.
UCLA was able to come back and take the lead by scoring two runs in the fifth inning on a two-run double by Jon Heinrichs, and four runs in the sixth on runs batted in by Jack Santora, Chad Matoian, Casey Cloud and Aldo Pinto. The Bruins scored two more runs in the seventh inning on a Valent RBI single and Zamora knocked in a run when he hit into a double play.
Top hitters for the Bears were Lewis, Furstenthal, Oliver, Gordnier and Johnson with two hits apiece. The Bruins were led at the plate by Glaus, who was 3-for-5.
Cal will next play Tuesday, May 6 at 2:30 p.m. at Sacramento State.