February 12, 2006

UCSB Drops Game Three to SJSU, 10-4

Feb. 12, 2006

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Despite tallying fourteen hits in the game, UCSB (2-2) dropped its opening series to San Jose State (3-3) after falling 10-4 in the rubber match of the three-game series on Sunday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Three Gauchos had multiple hits in the loss to SJSU on Sunday. Junior Chris Valaika batted two-for-five with an RBI on the day. The standout from Valencia, Calif. was robbed of a third hit in the Gaucho ninth by shortstop Raul Campos who snared a line drive that was headed for the gap in left centerfield. First baseman Robbie Blauer finished three-for-five at the plate with a run scored on Sunday. The UCSB offensive output was highlighted by Mario Lewis' four-for-five day at the dish. The Santa Ynez, Calif. product racked up a double, a triple, a run scored and an RBI in Sunday's loss.

UCSB starter Bryan Fleming (1-1) lasted four innings, giving up six hits and one earned run while striking out two in the loss. San Jose State's Josh Amberson (1-0) got the win, dealing five innings and giving up two earned runs on six hits while striking out six.

The Gauchos put themselves in an early hole by making two errors in the top of the first inning. After retiring the leadoff batter for SJSU, freshman third baseman Shane Carlson had a ball ricochet off his glove and into left field to start the Spartan rally. After a single moved the runners to the corners, Fleming attempted to pick off Donato Giovanatto at first, but Blauer dropped the throw. The ball fell to the ground and got mixed up with Giovanatto who had dove back into the bag. While Blauer attempted to retrieve the ball, David Pierson scampered home from third. On the ensuing play, Fleming struck out Nick Epidendio to record the second out of the inning. After a Giovanatto stolen base and a Ricky Sauceda walk, first baseman Brandon Fromm drove a pitch into the right centerfield gap for a double to plate two more Spartan runs. The next batter, Ryan Angel, followed suit and drove a ball into the left centerfield gap for a double that scored the fourth and final Spartan run of the inning.

UCSB would answer back quickly in the bottom of the first to cut the deficit to three runs. With one out, Gaucho number two hitter Brian Lee drove a pitch over the wall in right center for his first home run of the season. Unfortunately for UCSB, that was all the offense that would be mustered in the inning.

Following two innings of scoreless baseball, SJSU posted two more runs in the top of the fourth inning. Campos would start the ball rolling for the Spartans by reaching on a throwing error by Carlson at third. After a single and a sacrifice moved runners to second and third, Pierson cashed in for SJSU with a base hit back up the middle to plate both runners and give San Jose State the 6-1 advantage.

The Gauchos would get one run back in the bottom of the fifth, this time sparked by a leadoff single by freshman Matt Clark. After a Carrithers walk moved Clark to second, Valaika drove him in with a base hit into left field. With Carrithers at second and two down, Amberson got senior Matt McColgan to fly out to right field to end the inning.

San Jose State would tack on one run in the sixth and one run in the seventh to increase its lead to 8-2. After retiring the first two batters in the sixth, Sam Hall singled into right field to start the two-out rally. Hall stole second before Pierson walked to put runners at first and second. With two on and two out, UCSB went to the bullpen and summoned right-hander Matt Wade. Wade committed the third balk of the series for the Gauchos to move the runners to second and third. On the next play, Wade tossed a wild pitch that plated Hall from third base. After retiring the first batter in the seventh inning, Sauceda doubled down the left field line before scoring on an Angel single into centerfield.

Refusing to give up, UCSB posted two more runs in the eighth inning. Blauer got the Gauchos off to a good start by singling into left centerfield. On the ensuing play, Lewis brought Blauer home with a triple into the left centerfield gap. Pinch hitter Brian Gump hit a ground ball that bounced off Pierson's glove at second to bring home Lewis for the second Gaucho run of the inning.

SJSU added two more insurance runs in the top of the ninth. After Giovanatto flew out to start the inning, Epidendio walked. Junior Justin Segal was called out of the Gaucho bullpen to face Sauceda. Segal got Sauceda to line out to Patrick Rose at third before giving up a second double off the bat of Fromm that scored Epidendio. Angel once again matched Fromm and hit a pitch down the right field line for his second double of the game that plated the tenth and final Spartan run.

The Gauchos return to action on Tuesday when they host USC at 2 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. If his finger has healed enough to pitch, senior Steve Morlock is slated to make his first start of the season for the Gauchos