February 20, 2004

UC Santa Barbara Squanders Chances, Loses 6-4 to Pepperdine

Feb. 20, 2004

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Under threatening skies Friday afternoon at Ceasar Uyesaka Stadium, the UC Santa Barbara baseball team came close but fell short 6-4 to Pepperdine and its trio of hurling right-handers. Scoring twice in the first and eighth innings, the Gauchos had chances in the eighth and ninth but could not capitalize, falling to 5-4 on the season.

Wave right-hander Jacob Barrack pitched five effective innings for his first win of the year while hard-luck loser Steve Morlock falls to 1-2. The Gaucho right-hander tossed 5.2 innings allowing two earned runs on seven hits while striking out three.

UCSB lead early as the Gauchos scored twice in the first with the help of a hit, a walk and two passed balls. With one out, senior designated hitter Greg Powers singled and advanced to second when second baseman Chris Malec walked. After both advanced on a passed ball by Wave catcher Chad Tracy, Gaucho first baseman Bill Rowe picked up an RBI, plating Powers with a ground out to shortstop. An out later, Malec scored on Tracy's second of four passed balls on the day.

Pepperdine put a run on the board in the second when senior third baseman Nate Sutton mishandled a a Danny Kelly groundball with runners on first and second. Pepperdine scored again in the fourth with the tying run and never trailed again.

After putting up a single run in the sixth, two in the seventh and another in the eighth, Pepperdine led 6-2 heading into the Gaucho eighth. With right-hander Paul Coleman on the mound since the sixth, the Gauchos touched the tiring hurler for two runs. Rowe led off the inning with a single to center, which also extended his career-high hitting streak to nine games. An out later, with Rowe on second after a wild pitch, right fielder Matt Wilkerson was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second. A Matt Stevens fly ball advanced Rowe to third before he scored on Coleman's second wild pitch. Then shortstop Chris Valaika sent a screaming single up the middle to score Wilkerson. Coleman battled back though and got pinch-hitter David Figoni to strike out swinging to end the inning.

In the ninth, UCSB threatened again. After putting runner on the corners with no outs, Coleman got Malec to pop out to shortstop and struck out Rowe before Wave closer Steve Kleen struckout catcher Matt Kalafatis for the final out.

The save was Kleen's first of the year.

Offensively for the Gauchos, Powers led the way going 4-for-5 with a run scored. Only one other Gaucho, Wilkerson, collected more than one hit.

Wave third baseman Patrick Rooney belted his second home run of the year in the eighth.

Southpaw Ivan Ramirez, righty Alex McRobbie and right-hander Rich Sorenson combined to pitch the final 3.1 innings out of the Gaucho bullpen, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out five.

With the win, Pepperdine improves to 2-3.

The squads meet again tomorrow at Eddy D. Field as the Waves host the second game of this weekend's three-game series. On Sunday the schools return to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium for the finale.

Sophomore right-hander Michael Martin will get the starting nod for UCSB on the mound tomorrow and junior righty Nate Holguin is expected to take the game ball in his first college start on Sunday.

Both games are scheduled for a 1 p.m. start time.