March 6, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Sophomore southpaw Mario Hollands tossed his first career complete game shutout, a one-hit gem over Loyola Marymount, as UC Santa Barbara won 1-0 on Friday. Hollands struck out 10 Lions while only allowing just two base runners over nine innings.
The win is the third in a row for the Gauchos (6-2), while LMU (8-3) has its four-game winning streak ended.
Centerfielder Brian Gump was responsible for two of the four Gaucho hits. He also scored the game's only run on senior first baseman Eric Oliver's double in the eighth. After singling to lead off the inning, Gump stole second base and scored two batters later on Oliver's double.
Lions' senior right hander Lee Roberts matched Hollands' zeroes on the scoreboard through six innings and struck out eight Gauchos before being replaced by sophomore Chris Eusabio with one out in the seventh inning. Eusabio stranded two runners on base to end the seventh before giving up the lone run of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The outstanding pitching the by the starters was supported by a couple of outstanding defensive plays by each team. Senior third baseman Robby Cummings made a pair of diving stops in support of Hollands, and Lions second baseman Jonathan Johnson sprinted a long way to catch a foul ball that left him upside down after flipping over the fence to the visitors' bullpen down the right field line.
Junior shortstop Ryan Cavan entered the game leading UCSB with a .529 batting average. Although he went hitless in his only official at-bat, he reached base three times on walks, which turned out to be key in chasing Roberts off the mound.
Hollands improved to 2-1 on the year with a 2.35 ERA and 24 strikeouts. Impressively, he blanked a Loyola Marymount team which was averaging 9.3 runs per game and had defeated UC Irvine in its last game. The shutout was the third time in eight games this season that the Gauchos have blanked their opponents. It is also the first time the Gauchos have held an opponent to one hit since Feb. 22, 2008 vs. Marist.
The teams will meet for three more games over the next two days with two being played tomorrow. Saturday's doubleheader should feature more dominant pitching. Game one of the twinbill will start at 11:00 a.m. and tickets can be purchased at the main entrance to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium beginning one hour prior to game time, or online by clicking here.