March 24, 2012

USF Uses Dominant Pitching to Sweep Gauchos

OAKLAND, Calif. – A pair of dominant pitching performances by the University of San Francisco staff limited UC Santa Barbara in a doubleheader on Saturday. The Dons swept the Gauchos, winning 2-0 and 4-0.

Alex Balog two-hit UC Santa Barbara across seven shutout innings leading San Francisco past the Gauchos 4-0 in game two of the Saturday doubleheader. After winning game one 2-0 behind Kyle Zimmer's complete game shutout, the Dons (13-12, 0-0 WCC) pitching staff shut down the Gauchos (10-11, 0-0 Big West) again, allowing only six UC Santa Barbara hitters to reach base.

Balog (1-1) allowed only two hits en route to his first win of the season. The sophomore right-hander struck out four and walked only two, while lowering his ERA to 1.26 in 28.2 innings pitched.

In the first game, Zimmer (2-1) lowered his ERA to 1.62, while striking out nine and walking only one. The preseason All-American improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio to an incredible 45-to-6, leading the Dons (12-12, 0-0 WCC) to a victory in game one of the doubleheader.

After tossing a complete game shutout against Hawaii in his last start, the La Jolla, California native picked up right where he left off, facing six Gaucho batters over the minimum. Opposing batters are now hitting just .181 on the season against the junior right-hander.

San Francisco scored once in the sixth and once more in the eighth to win a close fought pitchers' duel, 2-0.

UCSB's Andrew Vasquez allowed just one earned run in 5.0 innings of work while striking out eight batters and walking three. Zak Edgington pitched the final three innings and allowed just one run on two hits. Brett Vertigan and Greg Mahle each had two hits for UCSB in the first game.

In the second game, the Dons put a crooked number on the scoreboard in the fourth inning scoring three times. Ted LeMasters, Nik Balog, and Mason Morioka delivered back-to-back-to-back singles to lead off the inning to put the wheels in motion for USF. Morioka's single drove home LeMasters for the first USF run of the game. In the very next at-bat, Nik Balog scored on a wild pitch from Gauchos' starter Matthew Vedo (3-3). Bradley Zimmer's sacrifice fly capped the three-run inning for the Dons and gave USF a 3-0 lead after four innings of play.

USF added another insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning courtesy of Bradley Zimmer's RBI double down the right field line. Zimmer's run-scoring hit put USF in front 4-0 entering the seventh inning.

Elliot Waterman put a quick end to a soggy and wet afternoon, allowing only two hits and striking out two across the final two frames.

Balog lowered his season ERA to 1.26, while improving the Dons' team ERA to a remarkable 2.39 on the 2012 season.

Matt Vedo allowed three runs on three hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked five. Bryce Tafelski went 2-for-4 for the Gauchos. Cameron Cuneo struck out three batters in 1.2 innings.

San Francisco and UC Santa Barbara meet in the Sunday finale tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at Laney College. UCSB will return home on Tuesday to face Pepperdine in a Throwback Tuesday. Click here for tickets. The game will also be broadcast live online by clicking here.