Feb. 25, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UCSB (3-4) scattered eight hits, but managed to plate only one run on the day, falling 7-1 to Cal (6-7) in game one of a two-game series on Sunday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Senior Robbie Blauer and junior Mike Zuanich led the Gauchos offensively, both collecting two hits on the day. Blauer, a native of Huntington Beach, Calif., finished two-for five on Sunday. Zuanich batted .500 in the game, notching his two hits in four at bats.
Senior right-hander Steve Morlock got the start for UCSB, lasting four and a third innings and surrendering five runs on eleven hits and three walks while striking out one batter to be tagged with the loss. Fellow senior Brian Tracy took the ball with one out in the fifth and tossed the next two and a third innings in relief of Morlock. In those innings, Tracy tallied two strikeouts. Sophomore Matt Wade finished the seventh inning on the hill for the Gauchos before giving way to senior Justin Aspegren and junior Kyle Brown in the eighth. Aspegren collected the first out of the inning and Brown came on to capture the final two, one coming by way of strikeout. Senior Michael Martin finished the game on the hill for UCSB, allowing two runs on four hits in the ninth.
The two through seven hitters in the Golden Bear lineup finished with multiple hits in Sunday's game one. Of those six hitters, five of them finished with three or more hits. First baseman David Cooper batted four-for-five with a double, a run scored and two RBI on the day to lead Cal in terms of average. Despite his outstanding performance, Cooper was not technically the thorn in UCSB's foot. On Sunday, that moniker belonged to Blake Smith, who finished three-for-five with a three-run homer, a run scored, four RBI and an outfield assist to cut down a would-be Gaucho run at the plate. Rounding out the top hitters for Cal was left fielder Ryan Hanlon who batted a perfect three-for-three with two walks on the day.
Right-hander Alex Rollin pitched six scoreless innings, surrendering five hits and two walks while striking out four to earn the victory for Cal. Dane Ferguson was then called upon out of the Golden Bear bullpen to pitch the seventh and eighth innings before giving way to Kurt De La Rosa in the ninth. De La Rosa surrendered a single run when he balked to plate sophomore Brian Gump in the ninth inning.
Both teams had opportunities to score in the first inning, with neither team able to plate a run in the frame. Cal collected back-to-back singles with two outs to put runners at the corners in the top of the first, but was unable to link the final blow to get on the board. In the bottom half of the inning, Gaucho leadoff man Chris Fox reached on an error by second baseman Josh Satin before moving to second base on a Patrick Rose sacrifice bunt. With one out and a runner at second, Blauer connected for his first hit of the afternoon, shooting a base hit into right field. On the play, Fox turned third and was gunned down at the plate by Smith in right field.
After another scoreless inning of play, Cal broke the silence with one run in the top of the third. Leadoff hitter Stephen Carlson led things off with a single before moving to second base on a Satin sacrifice bunt. On the ensuing play, Cooper singled back up the middle to plate Carlson and give Cal the 1-0 advantage.
The Golden Bears were at it again in the fifth, plating four runs on three hits in the inning. The big blow came off the bat of Smith, who launched a three-run homer over the wall in right field to run the lead to 5-0. Earlier in the inning, Carlson walked and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Just a few pitches later, Satin singled to right centerfield to plate Carlson and the fourth Cal run.
Neither team scored again until the ninth inning, when Cal tallied two and UCSB plated one of its own. The Golden Bears got things started with a leadoff single by Satin into left field. After a wild pitch moved him to second base, Satin scored on a Cooper double down the right field line. Hanlon then followed with a single to put runners at the corners for Smith. Although he failed to get a hit, Smith once again did damage, this time reaching on a fielder's choice and plating Cooper for the seventh and final run of the game for Cal.
UCSB made things a little interesting in the bottom of the ninth, plating one run and loading the bases on two occasions. A one-out walk to Gump allowed the first runner of the half-inning to reach base. After a strikeout of freshman Matt Valaika made it two outs in the inning, pinch-hitter Clayton Shank singled to put runners at first and second. A walk to Fox loaded the bases with two out before Gaucho head coach Bob Brontsema went to his bench to call upon freshman pinch-hitter Gunnar Terhune. With Terhune in the box, De La Rosa was called for a balk to plate the only Gaucho run of the game. UCSB managed to run the bases full once again after Terhune walked to bring up Blauer. Blauer hit a pitch hard in the at bat, but right at shortstop Brett Munster who fielded the ground ball and tossed it across the diamond to seal the 7-1 Cal victory.
UCSB and Cal will finish their two-game series tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Senior left-hander Jeff Braun (0-1, 2.70) is expected to make the start for the Gauchos.