March 8, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara (9-2) defeated Loyola Marymount (8-6) by a score of 10-3 Sunday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Junior right-hander Mike Ford (3-0) earned the win with six solid innings.
The Gauchos are off to their best start since the 1996 season when they opened 10-2. That team finished 32-20 overall and went to the NCAA West Regionals in Stanford.
The Lions came to Santa Barbara with a record of 8-2 on a four-game win streak, including an 11-3 victory over No. 5 UC Irvine on Apr. 3. They leave Santa Barbara on a four-game losing streak with a record of 8-6.
It is UCSB's first four-game sweep since defeating Southern Utah last season from Mar. 14-16. The Gauchos are on a six-game winning streak.
Ford gave up three runs over six innings and struck out two batters. His record is still perfect through three starts. He started last year 2-1 and finished 6-4. It is the first time he has won three games in a row in his career.
Following Saturday's doubleheader in which UCSB scored 21 runs, the offense put up 10 runs Sunday. They scored six runs in an inning in each of the past three games, including Sunday's third inning that gave Ford a comfortable lead.
Eight different Gauchos scored in the game. Senior centerfielder Brian Gump led the way going 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, and three runs scored. Matt Valaika and Gunnar Terhune were each responsible for three RBI.
UCSB was all over the base paths, stealing seven bases in the game including a double steal by shortstop Ryan Cavan and Gump in the third inning. Gump and Terhune each stole a pair of bases.
Lions freshman lefthander John Lally (0-1) pitched well in his first start of the year before he was chased with two outs in the six-run third inning. Centerfielder Angelo Songco had the game's only home run, a solo shot to lead off the top of the fifth inning.
After sophomore Mario Hollands' one-hitter to open the series with a 1-0 victory, the UCSB offense exploded. Eric Oliver went 7-for-15 in the four-game set with five RBI and four runs, including the only RBI in Hollands' win. Gump was 5-for-12 with 8 runs scored and three stolen bases over the weekend.
Cavan leads the team, hitting .484 after going 6-for-14 with five runs, three RBI, and five walks in the four games. Robby Cummings went 4-for-16 with eight RBI and two doubles vs. the Lions. He leads the team with 17 RBI.
Hollands' one-hit shutout was the first for a Gaucho since Mike Tresemer vs. Concordia College on March 4, 1986. UCSB has three shutouts on the year, only one shy of last years' total.
UCSB (9-2) will play at UCLA Tuesday, March 10. The Gauchos beat the Bruins earlier this season by a score of 7-6 on Feb. 24. UCSB returns home to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium with a two-game series against UC Riverside starting March 22.
Tickets are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB, by coming to the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or by clicking here.