March 9, 2008
Houston, Texas - The UC Santa Barbara baseball team (8-5) dropped the series finale to the University of Houston (8-5) on Sunday 4-2 at Cougar Field. The Cougars scored twice in the first and would maintain the lead for the rest of the way, as UCSB was unable to capitalize on four Cougar errors.
Bryan Tully doubled with two outs in the bottom of the first to start the Cougar attack. Bryan Pounds followed with a homerun to left field in the next at-bat to give the Cougars an early 2-0 lead.
The Gauchos got on the scoreboard in the top of the third as Brian Gump led off with a triple to left centerfield. Eric Oliver grounded out to score Gump from third for the first Gaucho run of the game.
The Cougars tacked two more runs on the board in the bottom half of the third on another two-run homerun. Chase Dempsay walked and was brought home on a Jake Stewart long ball to put the Cougars ahead 4-1.
Gaucho starter Chuck Huggins exited after five innings of work in which he allowed four runs on five hits, striking out five and walking three. Huggins moved to 2-1 on the year after winning his first two starts of the year in impressive fashion.
Senior Michael Martin came on in relief of Huggins to pitch three scoreless innings, allowing only one Cougar to reach base the rest of the game.
The Gauchos scored their final run in the seventh as Chris Fox doubled home Gump to bring UCSB within two, 4-2. The Gauchos made things interesting in the top of the ninth as they loaded the bases with only one out. Left fielder Mike Zuanich stepped to the plate with hopes of putting the Gauchos in front, but grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
Ty Stuckey picked up the win for the Cougars going 5.1 innings allowing only one run on three hits and striking out four. Dempsay picked up his second save in the series, pitching two scoreless innings to close things out.
Fox led the Gauchos offensively going 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and one stolen base. Gump continued his hot streak a day after recording a career-high five hits by going 2-for-5 on Sunday with two runs.
The Gauchos split their four game road trip going 2-2. After beating Cal State Northridge on Wednesday, the Gauchos dropped two of three against Houston over the weekend.
UCSB resumes play on Tuesday, March 11 as they travel north to face the Cal Poly Mustangs.