March 3, 2007

UCSB Rally Falls Short Once Again, Loses to St. John's 9-6 at Lamar Classic

March 3, 2007

Box Score

BEAUMONT, Tex. - UCSB (3-7) connected for two runs in the bottom of the ninth, but the rally fell short as the Gauchos dropped game two of the Lamar Classic 9-6 to St. John's (1-7) on Saturday in Beaumont, Tex.

For the second straight day, senior Matt Anderson led the Gauchos offensively in terms of average. This time, the Cameron Park, Calif. native batted four-for-five with a double, a triple, two runs scored and two RBI. With the outstanding performance, Anderson now is atop the Gaucho overall stats in average, hitting a .444 clip in seven games played. For Anderson, the double was his second on the year and the triple was the first of his Gaucho career. In addition, Anderson's four hits were the most he has collected as a Gaucho, one-upping his three-hit performance against Dartmouth on Mar. 16 of last year. Senior Robbie Blauer maintained his current hitting streak, stretching the streak to eleven games (stretching back to the last game of 2006) with a three-for-five performance on the day. The Huntington Beach, Calif. native connected for a double and two RBI in the game.

Senior right-hander Steve Morlock got the start for UCSB, lasting five and two-thirds innings allowing six runs, five earned, on eleven hits and one walk. The Kentfield, Calif. native earned his third loss of the season in the game. Junior southpaw Kyle Brown pitched two-thirds of an inning, allowing two runs on three hits before giving way to sophomore right-hander Matt Wade. Wade tossed another two-thirds of an inning out of the Gaucho bullpen, allowing a single run on two hits and a hit batsman. Senior Justin Aspegren took over and contributed hitless eighth and ninth innings on the hill for UCSB. The native of Napa, Calif. managed to collect the lone punch-out for the Gaucho pitching staff on Saturday.

Anthony Smith homered and drove in three runs, and shortstop Daniel Rose went a perfect 4-for-4 to lead the offense and help starting pitcher Scott Barnes pick up the team's first win of the season.

Smith had three hits for the night, including his second long ball of the season, and added to his team-leading RBI total with his ninth of the season. Rose, who entered the night as the team's top hitter, hit hard singles in each of his four at-bats, drove in a run and scored a run. Seniors Sam DeLuca (2-for-5, two runs), Chris Joachim (2-for-4, stolen base, RBI, two runs) and Brendan Monaghan (2-for-3, RBI, run) all collected two hits in the effort.

Barnes struck out nine batters in five-plus innings of work and allowed three runs on six hits and two walks. The sophomore threw 69 of his 106 pitches for strikes before being relieved by Colin Lynch in the sixth inning. Lynch allowed one run and struck out three in three solid innings of relief, and Justin Gutsie worked the ninth inning to seal the win.

The Red Storm got things rolling early, using three two-out base hits to push two runs across in the top of the first inning. DeLuca ripped the first of his two singles into the left-center field gap to get the rally started, and Joachim followed with his first double of the year to plate DeLuca with the game's first run. Smith then scored Joachim with a single up the middle to give St. John's a 2-0 lead.

UCSB worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the second and fourth innings, but the Red Storm added two more in the third to open up a 4-0 lead. A bunt single by Joachim led to the first run of the inning, as Gaucho third baseman Robby Cummings made an errant throw to first base that allowed DeLuca to score and Joachim to advance to second. Smith again plated Joachim, this time with a groundout to second base.

UCSB got on the board for the first time in the bottom of the fourth inning, plating one run on two hits. Senior Mario Lewis led the inning off with a walk before swiping second and putting himself in scoring position for Blauer. Blauer followed by contributing a single into centerfield to put runners at the corners. Two batters later, Anderson collected his first RBI on the day with a single of his own into centerfield to plate Lewis.

After a Red Storm run in the top of the inning, UCSB answered back with a run of its own in the bottom of the fifth. Cummings walked to start the inning. Fellow sophomore Shane Carlson followed with a single through the left side to put runners at first and second with no one out. After a strikeout and a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third with one out, Blauer singled to second base to plate Cummings.

After another St. John's run, UCSB responded once again in the bottom of the sixth, pushing one more run across in the frame. Anderson singled to get the ball rolling in the inning before moving to second base on a balk. After freshman Steve Domecus was hit by a pitch, second baseman Matt Valaika grounded out to the catcher to move the runners up ninety feet. On the ensuing play, the Red Storm was called for the second balk in the inning to allow Anderson to trot home.

In the seventh, the Red Storm stretched its lead to 9-3 with a three-run inning. Gil Zayas hit an RBI double, and Monaghan and Rose ripped RBI singles in helping St. John's open up a six-run lead. UCSB wasted no time plating a run in the bottom half of the seventh. Lewis walked to leadoff the inning before Blauer doubled to left centerfield to plate the Santa Ynez, Calif. native. The Gauchos made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth, plating two runs on one hit and two errors. After two quick outs, junior Mike Zuanich walked to give the Gauchos life. On the ensuing play, Anderson shot a pitch into the right centerfield gap for a triple to plate Zuanich. Just moments later, Domecus hit what looked to be a ground ball to end the game, but a throwing error by third baseman Zayas allowed Anderson to score the second Gaucho run of the inning. UCSB managed to extend the inning one more batter, as Zayas committed his second consecutive error at third, but was unable to plate another run in the game before falling 9-6.

The Gauchos conclude the three-day Lamar Classic tomorrow when they take on Kansas State at 9 a.m. UCSB is expected to pitch freshman right-hander Mike Ford against the Wildcats.