April 28, 2012

Gauchos Unable to Complete Comeback, Fall to UC Davis

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – One day after putting together a dominant offensive performance against visiting UC Davis, the favor was returned by the Aggies, who tallied 16 hits on their way to a 10-6 victory over UC Santa Barbara on Saturday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

With the loss, UCSB falls to 22-19 overall and 8-6 in league games. The Aggies improve to 16-22 overall and 4-7 in the Big West.

Trailing 7-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, UCSB benefitted in a big way from a UC Davis error. Marc Venning had led off the inning with an infield single and advanced when Ryan Palermo grounded out to third base. One out later, Steven Fisher came in to pinch hit and sent a two-out single towards the third baseman. It looked as though the Aggies were going to get out of the inning unscathed when Brett Vertigan hit into a fielder's choice, but Aggie second baseman Ryan Allgrove bobbled the ball while trying to catch Fisher at second. The error allowed Venning ample time to score and left two runners safe on first and second.

Lance Roenicke promptly made the Aggies pay for the error when he swung at the first pitch, belting the ball over the left field fence and driving in three more Gaucho runs to cut the Aggie lead to one.

Pitcher Matt Vedo, who had come in to relieve starter Austin Pettibone in the fourth inning, retired the side to keep the Gauchos in the hunt.

Joey Wallace led off in the bottom of the eighth with a walk and was bunted over to second by Greg Mahle, but Aggie relief pitcher Harry Stanwyck got out of the bind with two of his three strikeouts to strand the Gauchos' potential game-tying run.

The Aggies tacked on three more runs in the ninth with a bases-loaded wild pitch and a two-RBI double from Allgrove.

UCSB had gained the initial lead in the bottom of the first when Roenicke hit a grounder up the middle to drive home Vertigan, who led off with a double hit to deep right field.

UC Davis used six hits in the third, including a two-run homer by Kevin Barker, to take a 3-1 lead. The Aggies tacked on another run in the fourth when Tino Lipson snuck around the tag at home after David Popkins hit into a fielder's choice.

In the fifth with two outs, Austin Logan posted an infield single and John Williams drew a walk before Scott Kalush hit a home run over the left field fence to put the Aggies up by five runs.

Pettibone (6-3) suffered the loss after tossing the opening three and one third innings. He allowed four runs – three earned – on 10 hits. Anthony Kupbens (3-4) got the win after tossing seven innings and allowed six runs – two earned – on eight hits.

The rubber game of this weekend's series will be played on Sunday, April 29 at 1 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Tickets are available by clicking here, or calling 893-UCSB. The game can be heard online by clicking here or on AM 1290 in Santa Barbara with the pregame show starting at 12:30 p.m.

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