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This Time, the Bruins Get Offensive

May 24, 1997|From Associated Press

Top-seeded UCLA stayed alive in the NCAA Midwest Regional, beating Ohio, 15-1, in an elimination game Friday at Stillwater, Okla.

The Bruins (41-19-1), bouncing back after Thursday's 7-2 loss to sixth-seeded Harvard, sent 13 men to the plate in the first inning and took a 9-0 lead.

After just one home run was hit Thursday in three first-round games, UCLA doubled that total in the first inning against the Bobcats (43-20). Center fielder Eric Valent and right fielder Eric Byrnes each hit two-run homers.

"We wanted to jump out on top with a lot of runs," said UCLA Coach Gary Adams. "We did just that. We went up there hitting like I know we are capable of. That first inning was the story of the ball game."

Valent had two home runs and five RBIs. Chad Matoian also homered and had four RBIs. Matt Klein (2-0) got the win in relief of starter Jim Parque, the Bruin ace who was lifted after three shutout innings with the score 11-0. Klein also pitched three shutout innings.

Harvard remained unbeaten with an 8-6 victory over Stetson that eliminated the Hatters (37-26-1). With the score tied at 3-3, the Crimson (34-14) scored five runs in the eighth inning, using three infield singles, two walks and a sacrifice fly.

SOUTH II--USC kept alive its hopes of making a 19th trip to the College World Series by defeating Troy State, 5-2, in an elimination game at Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Randy Flores (9-5) yielded seven hits and walked one in pitching a complete game for the Trojans (40-19). The senior left-hander improved to 7-0 in NCAA playoff games.

Of Flores' performance, USC Coach Mike Gillespie said: "We're used to seeing that from him, This is his fourth year with us and he's particularly stellar in big games. He is very polished and doesn't get rattled."

USC took advantage of three errors in the second inning to take a 3-0 lead. Jeremy Freitas, Robb Gorr and Wes Rachels had run-scoring hits.

Mid-Continent Conference champion Troy State (36-24) was making its second appearance in the NCAA tournament.

WEST--Cal State Fullerton, which lost, 5-0, to Santa Clara on Thursday, avoided going winless for the first time in 19 NCAA regional appearances by beating Northeastern, 8-4, in an elimination game at Stanford.

The second-seeded Titans (39-23-1) broke the game open with three runs in the top of the sixth inning. Chris Beck and Reed Johnson each doubled home runs. Northeastern committed four of its five errors during the inning.

John Alkire (3-5) won despite giving up four earned runs and six hits in five innings. Brandon Duckworth and Mike Greenlee each pitched two scoreless innings in relief.

Fullerton, which managed only five hits against Santa Clara, had 15, including Mike Lamb's 10th homer of the season. Northeastern (33-19) has not won an NCAA tournament game since 1973.

Top-seeded Stanford (41-18), behind a four-hitter by Chad Hutchinson, beat Texas A&M, 3-1.

Josh Hochgesang and Jon Schaeffer hit back-to-back solo homers in the first inning as the Cardinal remained unbeaten. Hochgesang, who extended his hitting streak to 13 games, drove in Stanford's third run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

The Aggies (39-22), who were eliminated, scored only two runs in their losses to Stanford and Fresno State. Aggie batters struck out a combined 28 times in the defeats, including 21 against Fresno State's Jeff Weaver.

SOUTH I--Brandon Larson had two of five LSU homers--including a two-run shot in the first inning that broke the NCAA team record for a season--as the defending national champions beat Oklahoma, 14-3, in a second round game at Baton Rouge, La.

Danny Higgins tied Brigham Young's 1988 record of 161 homers with a three-run shot during the Tigers' eight-run first inning. Tom Bernhardt hit a two-run homer in the fourth and a solo homer in the sixth, giving LSU 165 home runs this season. The Tigers have homered in 63 straight games.

Before eliminating the Sooners (39-20), LSU (50-12) completed a game suspended by rain in the fifth inning Thursday night. The Tigers defeated North Carolina Greensboro, 14-0.

Joey Choron hit a pair of two-run homers and Brey Curtis hit a three-run shot as South Alabama (42-17) sent Long Beach State (38-25) into the loser's bracket with a 12-4 victory.

EAST--Jeremy Morris hit two three-run homers as the Florida State eliminated Central Florida, 16-2, at Tallahassee, Fla.

Morris' home runs came in the first and second innings. His second was the first of three straight. Geoff Sprague and Scott Zech followed to give the Seminoles (48-15) a 9-0 lead.

In the seventh inning, J.D. Drew hit his school-record sixth career grand slam to make the score, 13-2. It was Drew's 30th home run of the season, making him the first college player to ever hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in a season.

MIDEAST--Pacific 10 champion Washington (45-18) scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat host Mississippi State, 5-4, in a winner's bracket game at Starkville, Miss.

Ryan Soules doubled to left-center to drive in the winning run off NCAA saves leader Van Johnson. Mississippi State (42-19) jumped out to a 4-0 run in the top of the first inning, but didn't score again against Husky starter Jeff Heaverlo (7-4), who yielded only five hits over the final eight innings.

The Big Ten lost its only entrant in the 48-team tournament when Ohio State was eliminated by Tennessee Tech, 5-3. The Buckeyes (42-18) had lost, 8-5, to Mississippi State in a game that ended about 11 p.m. Thursday--13 hours before the elimination game began.

CENTRAL--Brandon Jackson's seventh-inning single drove in the go-ahead run as Southwest Missouri State (34-24) beat Texas Tech, 4-2, eliminating the top-seeded Red Raiders at Lubbock, Texas.

With Texas Tech (46-14) leading, 2-1, in the bottom of the seventh, second baseman Keith Ginter dropped the apparent third out of the inning on a routine popup. The error allowed the tying run to score while putting the winning run on base.

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