March 15, 2008
Santa Barbara, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (10-6) won both games of Saturday's doubleheader against Southern Utah University (5-7), 10-7 and 6-5 at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Led by the top of the lineup in the game one, the Gauchos scored 10 times on 14 hits, while solid pitching and timely hitting were the keys to success in game two.
Southern Utah jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the second inning of game one. Jacob Romney's two-RBI single put the Thunderbirds in front. Garrett Messerly scored on a fielder's choice for the third run of the inning. Gaucho starter Michael Martin induced Thunderbird shortstop Colby Ford to hit into a 4-6-3 double play to get out of the jam.
Martin would last five innings, allowing five runs on six hits, striking out four and walking three.
After the Thunderbirds scored another run in the top of the third, the Gauchos stormed back to tie the game by scoring four times in the bottom half. The Gaucho rally started with two outs as Patrick Rose singled to third base. Junior Brian Gump followed with a bunt single of his own, as Chris Fox's RBI single combined with a fielding error scored both Rose and Gump putting the Gauchos on the board, 4-2. With runners on second and third, Shane Carlson stepped to the plate and scorched a single to right field, scoring Eric Oliver and Mike Zuanich to tie the game at 4-4. Carlson's two-RBI single extended the second baseman's hitting streak to 16 games.
Four straight Gaucho hits in the bottom of the fourth plated two runs giving UCSB the lead, 6-4. John DeAlba doubled to right to start things off. Chris McMurray followed with a bunt single. Rose drove in DeAlba with an RBI single to right field, while an RBI double from Gump scored McMurray.
Both teams scratched a run on the board in the fifth frame to put the score at 7-5. Southern Utah starter Jacob Noyes departed the game with the bases loaded, giving way to Thunderbird reliever Kyle Melling. The Gauchos threatened to break the game open, but Fox grounded out to end the threat.
Noyes pitched 4.2 innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits, striking out one and walking four.
Southern Utah tied the game in the eighth scoring two runs on two hits. Joe Wright led off the inning with a solo homerun to deep right field to cut the Gaucho lead to one, 7-6. Pinch hitter Mac Nelson singled home Cameron Nelson to knot the game at seven a piece.
The pesky Gaucho offense quickly regained the lead scoring three times in the bottom of the eighth. As they had done for much of the game, the one-two punch of Gump and Fox got the rally started for the Gauchos. Gump singled up the middle and stole his team-leading 10th base to put himself on second with no outs. Fox doubled in the subsequent at-bat, putting runners at second and third for Oliver. Oliver stepped up in the clutch, lacing a 1-0 pitch up the middle to score Gump and Fox, giving the Gauchos the lead 9-7. Oliver would score the final run of the inning courtesy of a fielding error from Thunderbird second baseman Matt Sanford.
Gump was 3-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base, two runs scored and one RBI. Fox was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI, while Oliver was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Combined the one, two, and three hitters for the Gauchos were 7-for-13 with six runs scored and four RBI.
In game two of the doubleheader, the Gauchos used a solid effort from redshirt freshman Mario Hollands (2-1) combined with timely hitting to take the game, 10-7 in seven innings.
Hollands baffled Thunderbird hitters, striking out seven in six innings of work, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits en route to his second win of the season.
UCSB pounced on the Thunderbirds scoring three times in the bottom of the first to take an early 3-0 lead, as Gump and Fox ignited yet another Gaucho rally. Gump singled through the right side and stole second base, his 11th of the season. Fox did his job, advancing Gump to third on a groundout to the right side. Zuanich followed with his fourth sac fly of the season, scoring Gump for the first Gaucho run of the game. Carlson strolled to the plate with his 16 game hitting streak on the line. The Stevenson Ranch, Calif., native extended it in style, belting a two-run homerun high over the left field wall to put the Gauchos in front 3-0.
Four consecutive singles and a John DeAlba sac fly plated three more Gaucho runs in the bottom of the third, extending the lead to 6-0.
Two Southern Utah runs in the fourth and one in the fifth, cut the Gaucho lead to 6-3. The Thunderbirds made things even more interesting in the top of the seventh. Nelson's leadoff single ended the complete game effort for Hollands, as the Gauchos went to their bullpen to close out the game. Clayton Edwards entered the game and immediately surrendered a single to Thunderbird second baseman Keli'i Zablan. Wright followed with another single to right field, scoring pinch runner Ben Gollaher to cut the Gaucho lead to 6-4. Edwards induced Bucky Aona to ground into a 5-4-3 double play, as Zablan advanced to third base with two outs. Wilson's shot through the right side scored Zablan to put the Thunderbirds within one, 6-5. Edwards wouldn't cave in, however, as he struck out Nick Freitas to slam the door.
Edwards earned his third save on the year, and his second on the day in the process.
SUU starter Kyle Hamman picked up the loss, pitching all six innings, allowing six runs on eight hits, striking out none and walking two.
Gump and Fox paced the Gaucho attack with 2-for-4 and 2-for-3 efforts, respectively. The lefty duo, scored three runs, as Gump swiped his 11th base of the season, extending his perfect steal ratio to 11-for-11. Zuanich and Carlson added two RBIs each in 1-for-2 efforts, as Carlson extended his hitting streak to 17 games.
The Gauchos resume play tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in the series finale against Southern Utah University. Senior Chuck Huggins gets the ball for the Gauchos, as he looks to complete the series sweep and earn his third win of the season.