February 15, 2004

Gauchos Salvage Sunday's Finale Against San Jose State With 4-2 Win

Feb. 15, 2004

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Behind another strong outing from sophomore right-hander Michael Martin, the UC Santa Barbara baseball team knocked off San Jose State 4-2 Sunday afternoon, salvaging one game of this weekend's three game series. The victory pushes the Gauchos record to 4-3.

Martin (2-0) held a San Jose State offense which had scored 20 runs in the previous two games to just one earned run while striking out a season high eight batters. In his 7.1 innings of work, Martin allowed just three hits but walked four Spartans.

Pacing the Gauchos' offensive attack were senior third baseman Nate Sutton and sophomore first baseman Bill Rowe. The two infield cornerstones each had two RBI. Sutton finished 2-for-3 at the plate with a run scored.

UCSB took the lead early in the two-hour, fifteen minute contest as it put two runs up on the board in the first and never relinquished the lead. After Spartan starter Brandon Dewing walked Sutton and second baseman Chris Malec to lead off the Gaucho first, Rowe stepped up two batters later and cranked a double down the right field line, scoring both runners.

In the second the Gauchos padded their lead with Sutton's first RBI of the day. With junior left fielder Matt Stevens on second, Sutton drilled a two-strike pitch up the middle to give Santa Barbara a 3-0 lead.

Martin allowed an unearned run in the Spartan third after walking lead-off hitter Ruben Martinez and allowing him to advance to third on a botched pick-off attempt. After another walk and a stolen base put runners on second and third, right fielder Ryan Angel reached with an infield single, allowing Martinez to score. Martin escpaed further damage by striking out the next batter and then inducing second baseman Kevin Frandsen into a fielder's choice ground out.

The score remained 3-1 until the bottom of the seventh when Sutton picked up Stevens again with an RBI signle to right. Stevens had reached via a one-out double and advanced to third on shorstop Chris Valaika's blooper single.

Meanwhile, Martin faced just one batter above the minimum possible between the fourth and seventh innings. The right-hander cruised through the game's middle innings, allowing just two baserunners and doubling off one of them by inducing an inning-ending ground ball double play in the seventh.

Back to back one-out base-hits in the eighth plated the Spartans' second run, and Martin eventually gave way to southpaw Ivan Ramirez. The senior escpaed the inning by getting shortstop Anthony Contreras to ground into another inning-ending double play.

Senior Aaron Jones pitched a perfect ninth inning for his third save of the year.

The Gauchos return to action Tuesday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium in a non-conference matchup against Westmont College at 2 p.m. Freshman right-hander Andy Graham is expected to get the nod for UCSB.