March 7, 2003
Los Angeles, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara (10-9) baseball team faced a red hot Loyola Marymount (9-6) team at Page Stadium in Los Angeles, CA on Friday afternoon. However, the Gauchos put out the LMU's flames, scoring four runs in the top of the eleventh inning to pick up the victory, 6-2.
First baseman Bill Rowe singled to lead off the top of the eleventh inning. Rowe then advanced to second on a sacrafice bunt by catcher Chad Ziemendorf. Outfielder Chris Caraballo then laced a single into right field plating Rowe and giving UCSB the lead, 3-2. However, the Gauchos were not content with only one run, as they would strike for three more runs in the inning.
Relief pitcher Steve Morlock (3-2) pitched a scoreless ninth picking up the victory for UCSB. LMU reliever Jeff Stevens (1-2) was credited with the loss.
LMU struck for the first run of the ball game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Carl Stoeber singled and Sean Smith was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Sean Thompson then enduced Joshua Whitesell to bounce into a double play, but the ground ball allowed Stoeber to reach third base. With two outs, Kyle Mura delivered an RBI single, to give Lions the lead, 1-0.
Catcher Jonathon Higashi helped the Lions increase their lead in the next inning. Once again, Loyola Marymount's lead off batter was able to reach first base safely. After a sacrafice bunt by shortstop Billy Lockin and a single by Jonation Oller, LMU saw runners at first and third with one out. Jonathon Higashi then sent a fly ball into center field, deep enough to score Joe Frazee from third base.
UCSB quickly tied the game in the top of the sixth inning, 2-2. Matt Wilkerson led off with a single into right field. The Gauchos put runners on first and third on an errant throw to second base by Lions catcher Jonathon Higashi. First baseman Bill Rowe then singled, plating Wilkerson and advancing Taylor Vogt to third. The Gauchos evened the score on a sacrafice fly by Chad Ziemendorf.
Starter Sean Thompson held LMU scoreless in the next two innings, but ran into trouble in the bottom of the eighth. After Stoeber reached on an error by shortstop Josh Fulton, Sean Smith singled giving the Lions first and third with one out. With Loyola Marymount threatening, pitching coach Dan Ricabal pulled Thompson and called on lefty Ivan Ramirez to clean up the mess. Ramirez did not waste anytime, enducing Joshua Whitesell to ground into the inning ending 6-4-3 double play.
Neither UCSB or LMU could break the 2-2 tie in the ninth, sending the game to extra innings.
Nate Sutton led the offensive attack for UC Santa Barbara going 4-for-6.
UCSB starter Sean Thompson (1-3) earned a no decision, allowing two earned runs in 7.1 innings of work.
The Gauchos return to action tomorrow for the second game of this three-game series. Saturday's game begins at 1:00 p.m. UCSB sends sophomore Eric Posthumus to the mound, the Lions counter with Josh Muecke.