SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A furious rally that saw UC Santa Barbara score seven unanswered runs was not enough on Friday afternoon as No. 8 Cal State Fullerton jumped out to a huge lead and held on, 9-7.
The Gauchos battered around CSUF starter Dylan Floro for seven runs (six earned), the most he has allowed in any of his 14 appearances this season. Floro, who entered the game with a 2.25 ERA, had previously faced No. 1 Florida and No. 6 Texas A&M, not to mention UC Irvine, Cal Poly and Long Beach State this season.
Yet, it was the Gauchos who did the most damage against the right-hander.
Joey Wallace scored on Peter Maris' base hit and Greg Mahle came in on Lance Roenicke's sacrifice fly. A pair of balks – in a span of three pitches – by reliever Koby Gauna, plated another run. But, Gauna struck out Trinkwon to end the threat and then he and closer Michael Lorenzen retired the next six in a row to close out the taut game.
Unfortunately the tremendous rally was overshadowed by Fullerton's five-run first inning in which the Titans nearly hit for the cycle.
Carlos Lopez's double scored a run and then he and Matt Chapman came in on Anthony Hutting's triple. The next batter, J.D. Davis, hit a two-run home run.
Fullerton (31-14 overall, 13-3 Big West) stretched the lead to 7-0 on Lorenzen's two-run home run in the fourth and then added an unearned run and a solo home run against reliever Dalton Douty.
UCSB starter Kevin Gelinas was roughed up in 3.2 innings as he threw 100 pitches and allowed seven runs – all earned. Douty pitched well in his 3.0 innings of work in relief.
Right-hander Jared Wilson helped keep the Gauchos close with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief.
UCSB continues its series against CSUF with 1 p.m. games on both Saturday and Sunday. The finale of the series will be senior day as the Gauchos say goodbye to seniors Zak Edgington, Kevin Gelinas, Jeremy Peterson, Ryan Palermo, Lance Roenicke, Bryce Tafelski, Matt Vedo and Joey Wallace.