March 11, 2007

Gauchos Complete Three-Game Sweep, Down Cal State Northridge 2-1 in Game Three

March 11, 2007

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Freshman right-hander Mike Ford dealt eight innings, surrendering a run on four hits and a walk while striking out five to guide UCSB (7-8) past Cal State Northridge (11-13) by a count of 2-1 to complete the three-game sweep of the Matadors on Sunday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Ford, a native of Scottsdale, Ariz., allowed only a single run in the second inning on the day. In addition, the right-hander did not allow a hit in the final four innings of work. Senior Justin Segal pitched a perfect ninth inning to seal the 2-1 victory and earn his second save on the season.

Sophomore Chris McMurray led the Gauchos offensively, finishing two-for-four with the game-winning RBI in the eighth inning. Senior Mario Lewis also contributed two hits on the day, finishing two-for-four. The only Gaucho extra-base hit was a double off the bat of designated hitter Matt Anderson to get the ball rolling in the bottom of the eighth.

Senior Robbie Blauer extended his hitting streak to sixteen games, singling in his first at bat on the day. With the one-for-three day at the plate, Blauer finished the series against Northridge batting .545 (six-for-eleven) and slugging .818 with three doubles, two runs scored and two RBI.

Jorge Andrade, Jr. led the Matadors offensively, batting two-for-four with a homerun. For Andrade, Jr., the homer was his third of the season. Northridge starter Phillip Hann lasted only three and a third innings, surrendering a run on six hits before giving way to Mark Haderlein. Haderlein tossed the next four innings, allowing a single run on two hits and a walk to be tagged with the loss. With the loss, Haderlein falls to 3-2 on the season. Matador closer Edwin Quirarte contributed the final two-thirds of the eighth, allowing the single to McMurray to give the Gauchos the go-ahead run.

Northridge got on the board first in the top of the second when Andrade, Jr. blasted his homerun to put the Gauchos in an early 1-0 hole. UCSB would answer back in the bottom of the third, knotting the game at one run apiece. Shortstop Shane Carlson singled to right field to start the inning before moving to second base on a Chris Fox sacrifice bunt. After a Lewis single and a Blauer hit-by-pitch loaded the bases, Mike Zuanich singled into centerfield to plate Carlson.

With the one RBI on the day, Zuanich collected a total of six RBI against the Matadors over the weekend. The native of Torrance, Calif. also finished second in terms of average on the series, batting .455 with two runs scored and a double.

Neither team managed to muster much offense over the next four innings, but UCSB broke the scoring drought with one run in the bottom of the eighth. A one-out double by Anderson down the left field line put a runner in scoring position. Before the next at bat, head coach Bob Brontsema elected to pinch run for Anderson with speedy infielder Patrick Rose. After a Valaika groundout failed to advance the runner, McMurray singled into left centerfield to plate the eventual winning run for UCSB.

Segal came on and struck out Andrade, Jr. for the first out in the ninth before inducing a fly ball to Valaika at second for the second out of the inning. The final out was recorded when Richard Cates hit a line drive that looked to be headed for left field until Carlson dove to his right and snagged it to close the door on the Matadors and the three-game series. For the Gauchos, the series sweep was the first series win of the year.

UCSB will be back in action this week when it hosts Minnesota in a two-game series starting at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. Senior right-hander Brian Tracy is slated to get the start for the Gauchos.