UCLA’s Ben Francisco hits a Rocket, Man, that makes Really Keen Baseball History, and combined with Bruin Chase Utley’s Electric non-Boot, silences the Solid Wall of Sound in St. Louis, and lifts the Phillies to a 2-1 Division Series lead over the Redbirds
Never before in the History of Baseball has anyone ever hit a PINCH HIT HOME RUN that broke up a scoreless Playoff game, but in the 7th inning on Tuesday night, Bruin Ben Francisco came to the plate — not having hit a Homer since May — and smacked a THREE-RUN dinger into the Phillies’ bull pen to give Philly a 3-0 lead. The Cardinals threatened to come back in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings, but couldn’t get it done, as Francisco’s blast held up in the 3-2 Game 3 victory.
Francisco hadn’t gotten a hit in the last 13 days, and hadn’t gotten a PINCH hit in over FIFTY days, so, with Francisco in the on deck circle with two outs and a man on second, St. Louis Manager Tony LaRussa INTENTIONALLY WALKED a batter, just to get to Francisco. BAD MOVE by the certain Hall of Fame Manager, as Bruin Ben made him pay, severely.
La Russa must really be hating UCLA right now, because Francisco wasn’t the only Bruin to ruin his day. In the 8th inning, with the bases loaded for St. Louis, a Cardinal hitter stroked a line shot at the feet of Philly 2nd Baseman Chase Utley. And in the best play of the game, Utley somehow snagged the ball on a short hop, scampered to second to get the force, and then threw to 1st to complete the inning-ending, game-saving Double Play.
The Phillies now lead the Series 2-1, with Roy Oswalt and Roy Halladay waiting to start the next two games, with the “if necessary” Game 5 to be played back in the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
If the Phillies are able to win either of those games, then Francisco’s Homer will go down in Philly’s 125-year franchise history as one of their biggest ever. Utley is already a Legend of the town, but Francisco could have just added himself to that short list.
And speaking of UCLA Legends, it’s been a little while since I’ve shared some UCLA Spirit Squad photos, so, in honor of Francisco and Utley, here are 30 more brand new shots from the Texas game.