Jan. 24, 2004
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A team comprised of 23 former Gauchos, made use of late inning heroics to slide by UCSB's 2004 squad 4-3 on Saturday afternoon at a cloud-covered Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
The game marked the second year in a row that the Alumni team beat the current Gauchos. In 2003, the Alumni outslugged UCSB 13-12.
Two 2003 Gaucho alums, Chad Ziemendorf and Josh Fulton, accompanied a handful of 2001 graduates like Tyler Von Schell, Jared Schumaker and Jed Stringham to pace the Alumni's seven-hit attack. Matt Vasquez ('03), Sean Thompson ('03), James Garcia ('02) and Rylie Ogle ('02) were just a few of the alums to take the hill as the 2004 squad was limited to eight hits in the eight inning affair.
Five different current Gauchos tallied hits, including right fielder C.J. Cook, who knocked a single and a triple in his first game since 2002. Senior third baseman Nate Sutton, along with junior infielder David Figoni and sophomore outfielder Matt Emerick scored the only UCSB runs.
Highly touted rookie shortstop Chris Valaika went 0-for-4 in his UCSB debut but played solid defense behind three different Gaucho pitchers.
Freshman Andy Graham made his first collegiate start and appearance in an impressive five-inning performance. The right-hander limited the Alumni Team to just two runs on four hits while striking out three. Graham set down the side in order in both the third and fourth innings.
Fellow freshman Brian Tracy also made his Gaucho debut with a scoreless two-inning outing. With perhaps the most impressive performance of the day, Tracy faced seven batters and struck out four while allowing just one hit.
Senior transfer Aaron Jones ran into trouble in the eighth as he allowed the tying and eventual winning runs. A Schumaker RBI single drove in Fulton from third with nobody out to tie the score at 3-3, and a David Willis single drove in the Alum's fourth run two batters later.
A total of 19 current Gauchos saw action in Saturday's game, which provided Head Coach Bob Brontsema an opportunity to assess his team before opening day in less than two weeks.
UCSB begins its 2004 campaign on Friday, February 6 at San Diego State. The team will make its first appearance at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium at 2 p.m. Friday, February 13 against San Jose State.