Feb. 8, 2004
Behind a solid seven-inning performance from sophomore right-hander Michael Martin, the UC Santa Barbara baseball team knocked off San Diego State 2-0 on Sunday afternoon and won the season-opening three game series. Victories on Friday and Sunday avenged a series loss to the Aztecs during last year's opening weekend. The 2004 Gauchos are now 2-1.
In his first appearance of 2004, Martin (1-0) picked up the victory by allowing just three hits and walking none while being backed by the Gauchos' eight-hit attack. Sophomore second baseman Chris Malec provided UCSB with the only run it would need when he singled in designated hitter Greg Powers in the first inning.
Despite picking up the loss, Aztec starter Chris Hartshorn (2-1) pitched effectively as well, allowing just four hits, including the RBI single to Malec.
Santa Barbara tacked an insurance run on the board against San Diego State reliever Ben Coon in the eighth with the help of three hits. Junior Matt Stevens, pinch-hitting for center fielder Brian Adams, doubled down the left-field line to lead off the inning. After advancing to third on a Matt Emerick ground out, Stevens scored on senior third baseman Nate Sutton's RBI single up the middle. The run batted in was the first for Sutton in the young season.
Martin set down the SDSU side in order in the third, sixth and seventh inning before giving way to an already proven UCSB bullpen. Junior right-hander Nate Holguin tossed a scoreless eighth and senior closer Aaron Jones picked up his first save of the year with a perfect ninth. During the three-game series, the Gaucho bullpen allowed just two runs in twelve innings of work.
Malec finished the day 2-for-4 at the plate with one RBI and sophomore first baseman Bill Rowe now leads the team with five hits after his 2-for-4 performance.
Junior utility man David Figoni continued his hot hitting with a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning. Figoni is hitting .571 (4-for-7) after the campaign's first three games.
San Diego State's record drops to 5-6 with the loss.
UCSB will stay on the road to take on Cal State Northridge in a non-conference match up 2 p.m. on Tuesday before making its home debut next weekend against San Jose State. Freshman right-hander Andy Graham is expected to make his first collegiate start on Tuesday against the Matadors.