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LONG BEACH STATE BASEBALL REGIONAL

Brummett puts UCLA on top

June 02, 2007|Peter Yoon | Times Staff Writer

Tyson Brummett will have to wait.

He came close to making UCLA baseball history but ended up two outs short. Although close won't net any prizes at the fairgrounds, it was good enough Friday in baseball.

On target for UCLA's first postseason shutout since 1962 through eight innings, Brummett had to be pulled in the ninth but still recorded the Bruins' 7-3 victory over Pepperdine in the first round of the NCAA regionals at Blair Field in Long Beach.

UCLA (31-26) plays Illinois Chicago in the second round tonight at 7. Pepperdine (35-21) plays Long Beach State at 3 p.m. in an elimination game.

Brummett gave up only four hits through eight innings, but the Waves got to him for five hits and three runs in the ninth before he gave way with the bases loaded. Tim Murphy needed only one pitch to close it out when he got Donald Brown to pop out to third base for his second save of the season.

"You always want to finish what you started, but I was able to hand it off to Murph and get the win," said Brummett, who struck out six, walked one and improved to 10-5.

Brummett had pinpoint control of his fastball, throwing first-pitch strikes to 29 of the 38 batters he faced and going to 0-2 counts on 13 of them. Through six innings he had a one-hitter and no Pepperdine runner had advanced past first base.

He had a 7-0 lead going into the ninth, but Pepperdine ended the shutout bid with a one-out double by Eric Thames, followed by a run-scoring single by Denny Duron. One out later, Ryan Heroy hit a two-run home run to left that made the score 7-3.

Bruins Coach John Savage stayed with his ace, but the next three Pepperdine players reached base, and Savage was forced to make a move with the tying run coming to the plate.

"It was unfortunate that he couldn't complete the game, but he did exactly what a Friday night Pac-10 pitcher should do, and that is go out and give us a good start," Savage said. "He shut out a good team for eight innings."

UCLA designated hitter Cody Decker provided all of the offense Brummett would need. He had two hits and four runs batted in, including his team-leading 14th home run -- a three-run shot in the first inning.

Pepperdine ace Barry Enright entered the game with a 1.73 earned-run average but appeared rusty early in making his first start since May 20. He settled in after Decker's home run but ran into more trouble in the seventh, when UCLA scored three times.

"Big players play well in big games and we did not have that today," said Pepperdine Coach Steve Rodriguez, whose team was playing for the first time in 11 days because it did not qualify for the West Coast Conference championship series.

"I don't think the layoff affected us too much. I could use that as an excuse, but that's all it is, an excuse. It had really no bearing on today's game."

Illinois Chicago 4, Long Beach State 1 -- Ryan Zink gave up only one hit and an unearned run over eight innings as the fourth-seeded Flames upset the top-seeded 49ers in the first round. Zink (7-3), a right-hander who had Tommy John surgery last year, struck out five, walked one and hit two batters.

Chad Schroeder had a two-out, two-run single in the fifth inning that gave Illinois Chicago (35-19) a 2-1 lead.

Robert Perry's fourth-inning single was the lone hit for Long Beach State (37-19).

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peter.yoon@latimes.com

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Today's schedule

Today's NCAA regional baseball games at Blair Field, Long Beach:

* Pepperdine (35-21) vs. Long Beach State (37-19), 3 p.m. (elimination game)

* UCLA (31-26) vs. Illinois Chicago (35-19), 7 p.m.

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