Feb. 17, 2004
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - For the first time in seven years the UC Santa Barbara baseball team hit two grandslams en route to its lopsided 22-7 victory over Westmont College on Tuesday afternoon. The Gauchos pounded out 23 hits, nine being for extra bases, in the three hour affair at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
In the 101st meeting between the two teams, UCSB scored in every inning but the first, fifth and eighth while limiting the Warriors to nine hits, eight of which came in the fourth and fifth innings. The Warriors scored their only runs in those frames with three in the third and four in the fourth.
UCSB improves to 5-3 while Westmont drops to 2-6.
Santa Barbara scored seven times in the second inning with the help of four hits and a Westmont error. The inning was highlighted by senior designated hitter Greg Powers' first career grandslam, which gave the Gauchos a 5-0 lead. The round-tripper was Powers' first of the year and first by any Gaucho other than catcher Taylor Vogt.
Santa Barbara added three more runs in the third when senior third baseman Nate Sutton singled in two of his three RBI. Junior second baseman Chris Malec chipped in with an RBI single and Vogt contributed an RBI double to round out the inning.
In the fourth, it was sophomore first baseman Bill Rowe who joined the home run train when he belted a bases load dinger for his first home run of the year and first career grandslam. The shot scored center fielder Brian Adams, Sutton and Powers.
After posting two more runs in the sixth and taking a 17-7 lead, UCSB pounded out a five-run seventh. The inning was courtesy of RBI hits from Josh LaGrotta, who had entered in the sixth for Powers, Malec, freshman Jack Pinkerton, playing for Rowe, and junior Matt Kalafatis, who was behind the plate since the fourth.
With three scoreless relief innings, freshman right-hander Brian Tracy picked up his first collegiate victory for the Gauchos. Tracy, who allowed two hits and three walks, entered with no outs in the fourth to take over for starter Eric Posthumus. Fellow freshman Andy Graham and junior righty Alex McRobbie combined to hold the Warriors scoreless through the games' final three innings.
With one plus innings on the mound, Westmont right-hander Ian Richenbacher was handed the loss. He was relieved by a trio of Warrior hurlers, most notably Ray Crick, who tossed two scoreless innings to end the game.
At the plate, Rowe finished his day with a monsterous 4-for-5 performance, including three runs scored and five RBI, all career highs. Sutton finished 3-for-5 with three runs and three RBI. As a team, eight of nine Gaucho starters collected at least one hit and six of the starters picked up at least one RBI. Five Gauchos had multiple hit performances.
The 22 runs is the most by a Gaucho team since the 2002 squad posted 23 against Creighton University on February 23 of that year. Rowe's five RBI peformance was the first of its nature since teammate Brian Adams did it last year against Sacramento State on March 3. The two grandslams were the first since April 4, 1997 when Justin Balser and Bryan LaCour both did it against New Mexico State.
UCSB returns to action Friday at 2 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium against the Pepperdine Waves. Sophomore right-hander Steve Morlock (2-0) will be going for his third consecutive win to begin the year.