Baseball Comeback Falls Short, Lose To Pepperdine 13-11

March 3, 2002


Santa Barbara, Calif. - The Gaucho baseball team mounted a wild comeback in the bottom of the ninth, scoring three runs and bringing the go-ahead run to the plate. However, Greg Ramirez got Matt Wilkerson to strike out with two runners on, helping Pepperdine defeat UCSB 13-11 in a dramatic ending at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Two homers by Ryan Spilborghs and one by Wilkerson were not enough, as the Gauchos fall to 10-9 on the season.

Steve Kleen (1-2) got his first win of the season for Pepperdine, pitching three and two-third innings after coming in to relieve starter Derek Mills, who gave up five runs in four and one-third innings. The Waves now improve to 10-11.

The Pepperdine offense chipped away at the Gaucho pitching staff all day, as they scored at least one run in the first six innings. The Waves roughed up UCSB starter Kevin Miller for six runs, five earned, in four and one-third innings work of work. The lefty from Long Beach now falls to 2-1 on the season.

Down 4-0 in the bottom of the third, the Gauchos got on the board with Spilborghs first home run, a solo shot over the fence in deep right center, and a run scoring double by Taylor Vogt, to make it 4-2 Waves.

Down 8-2 in the fifth, UCSB erupted for four runs on a two-run double by Vogt to left center, and a two-run homer to center by Wilkerson to make it 8-6 Pepperdine.

However, Gaucho relievers Sean Thompson and Matt Moran could not subdue the Waves bats as they proceeded to score five runs in the top of the sixth, to pad their lead to 13-6.

The Gauchos got two runs back in the bottom of the inning on home runs by Spilborghs and Josh McCanne to make it 13-8. Spilborghs shot into the netting behind left field, was his second of the game and seventh on the season. McCanne's blast to left field was his third of the season.

Moran pitched a scoreless seventh inning and James Garcia also threw shutout ball the last two innings to get the Gauchos to the bottom of the ninth still trailing by five.

The game seemed over for UCSB after the first two batters grounded out to start the inning, but the Gauchos made things interesting.

Dave Licht managed to draw a walk and the Ryan Spilborghs proceeded to get hit by a pitch to put two runners on. Spilborghs and Licht then advanced to second and third on Pepperdine pitcher Ramirez's wild pitch during Chris Malecs at bat.

The game seemed over again when Malec then hit a grounder to second but Duke Sardinha mishandled the ball, scoring Licht and putting Malec on base, and more importantly making the score 13-9. The following batter McCanne, then singled to right field scoring Spilborghs and moving Malec to third and making it a 13-10 game.

The game appeared over again when the next batter, Vogt, struck out. But the ball squirted away from catcher Nelson Caraballo and Caraballo proceeded to throw the ball away, making Vogt safe and scoring Malec, making it a 13-11 game. But Ramirez was able to regroup and get Wilkerson to strikeout to end the game.

The Gauchos will return to action March 5 and 6, when they host Cal Poly on Tuesday and Georgetown on Wednesday. First pitch for both games is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.