Feb. 20, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UCSB (3-3) used runs in every inning except the seventh to easily defeat its cross-town rival Westmont (1-9) by a count of 11-2 in mid-week action on Tuesday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
The Gauchos tallied three runs in the first and fifth innings and single runs in the second, third, fourth, sixth and eighth innings in the victory. Senior Robbie Blauer led the UCSB offensive effort, finishing three-for-five with two doubles, a triple, two runs scored and three RBI. For Blauer, the triple was the first of his Gaucho career. Junior Chris Fox and freshman Matt Valaika also chipped in two hits for UCSB. Fox batted two-for-three with an RBI and a run scored, while Valaika batted two-for-three with a double, a run scored and an RBI. For Valaika, the double was his second of the year. In addition, sophomore Chris McMurray connected for his first triple and junior Patrick Rose connected for his first homerun in the victory.
Senior Michael Martin made his 2007 pitching debut after missing all last season due to injury. Martin lasted a pre-scheduled three innings, surrendering a run on two hits and a walk en route to his first victory of the season. UCSB used five relievers out of the bullpen on the day, the first being senior right-hander Bryan Fleming. The Marin County, Calif. native pitched two innings, allowing a run on two hits and two walks. Junior southpaw Chuck Huggins pitched a scoreless sixth and tallied two strikeouts for UCSB before giving way to senior Justin Aspegren who tossed a hitless seventh while punching out one. Freshman Mike Ford, who struck out five hitters in two and a third innings pitched on Sunday, tallied three more in a single inning of work on Tuesday. Senior closer Justin Segal pitched the top of the ninth for UCSB, striking out one Warrior in that frame.
Westmont shortstop Anthony Martinez led the Warriors offensively on Tuesday, finishing two-for-three with a double, a walk and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot. Erik Gaustad tallied the only RBI on the day for the Warriors, singling home Martinez in the first inning. Jonathan White got the start for Westmont, surrendering five runs on five hits and three walks while striking out four batters in two and two-thirds innings pitched en route to being charged with the loss.
The Warriors got on the board early, tallying a single run in the top of the first. Martinez led off with a ringing double into the left-centerfield gap before being moved over on a Ryan Haddock sacrifice bunt. After getting the next hitter to fly out to Mike Zuanich in shallow left field, UCSB saw itself in an early 1-0 hole when Gaustad singled to Shane Carlson at shortstop to plate the first run of the game.
UCSB would not trail for long, tallying three runs in the bottom of the first to take a lead it never relinquished. Back-to-back walks to Fox and Rose put runners at first and second with no one out. On the ensuing play, Blauer cleared the bases with his first triple as a Gaucho to give UCSB the 2-1 advantage. Zuanich took advantage of the runner at third with less than two out, lofting a deep fly ball to right field that scored Blauer.
With one out in the second inning, Valaika doubled down the left field line to get the Gaucho offense going. After a balk moved him to third, Valaika scored on Carlson's first hit of the season. UCSB plated one run in the third inning, with the big blow coming off the bat of Blauer once again. This time the Huntington Beach, Calif. native blasted a one-out double over the head of Luke Montzingo in centerfield to set the table for Cody Dee two batters later. With Blauer now at third base after a fly out off the bat of Zuanich, Dee singled into left centerfield to plate Blauer and give UCSB the 5-1 lead. UCSB was back at it again in the fourth, plating one run on one hit. Carlson reached on a walk with one out in the inning before moving to second base on a passed ball. On the next play, Fox took advantage of the opportunity, sending a pitch into left field to plate Carlson.
The Gauchos exploded for three more runs in the bottom of the fifth, highlighted by a two-RBI triple by McMurray. Zuanich doubled to start the inning before Domecus walked two batters later, leaving runners at the corners with McMurray strolling to the plate. The Mission Viejo, Calif. native then sent a pitch into centerfield to clear the bases and stroll into third without a throw. Just one batter later, Valaika connected for his second hit of the day, singling home McMurray for the third and final run of the inning.
Westmont tallied its second and final run of the game in the top of the sixth. Back-to-back hits and a walk loaded the bases with no one out to start the inning. On the ensuing play, Fleming was called for a balk that brought home the run for the Warriors. After loading the bases once again on a walk, Huggins got out of the jam unscathed by striking out the next two hitters and inducing a ground ball for the final out.
UCSB scored single runs in the bottom of the sixth and eighth innings to run the score to its final of 11-2. Rose wasted no time adding run number ten for UCSB, blasting his first career homer to lead off the sixth. After a Gunnar Terhune single to start the eighth inning, sophomore Brian Gump traded places with Terhune on a fielder's choice that forced Terhune out at second. For Terhune, the single was his first hit as a Gaucho. Two batters later, Blauer did damage once again, this time connecting for his second double of the game to score a speedy Gump from first base.
Segal came on and threw a hitless ninth inning to seal the deal on the Gaucho 11-2 victory. UCSB will return to action this Sunday as it plays host to Cal in a two-game series starting at 1 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Monday's series finale is slated to start at 2 p.m. The Gauchos are expected to throw senior right-hander Steve Morlock in game one and follow with senior southpaw Jeff Braun in game two.