March 27, 2004
SANTA BARBARA, Calif - UC Santa Barbara completed a spring-break sweep of Cornell with a 5-1 victory on Saturday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Sophomore right-hander Michael Martin (7-0) pitched six effective innings for his seventh win of the year as UCSB improves to 16-10 on the season.
Martin tossed six innings, allowing one run on six hits while striking out one in the win. A trio of UCSB relievers including Nate Holguin, Ivan Ramirez and Aaron Jones combined to allow just one hit over the game's final three innings. The set-up man to closer combination is something Head Coach Bob Brontsema and Pitching Coach Dan Ricabal have been looking forward to seeing all year.
The Gauchos won all five games against the Big Red (3-10) this week, amounting to their longest winning streak of the year. After outscoring Cornell 66-11 in the series' first four games, the Gauchos headed into the sixth inning down 1-0 today.
Cornell starter, but eventual loser Rocky Collis (1-3), made the Big Red's lone run stand up until the Gauchos' three-run sixth. UCSB used a Matt Emerick RBI single to tie the game, a Chris Malec RBI single to take the lead and a Taylor Vogt RBI fly out to gain a one run cushion.
The Gauchos put single runs on the board in the seventh and eighth to bolster their lead to four runs. In the seventh, after third baseman Nate Sutton tripled with two outs, the senior speedster pulled off a straight steal of home for his 17th stolen base of the year.
Sutton finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and lifted his average above .300 for the first time this season. He is now batting .304 and joins nine other Gauchos hitting above that mark. UCSB's team batting average now stands at .315.
Along with Malec, Vogt and Emerick, shortstop Chris Valaika also contributed an RBI in the effort.
With 22 fielding assists, the Gauchos also set a new school record for assists in a game, eclipsing the mark of 19 set against USC in 1990.
In the five games against Cornell, Malec posted a .611 batting average with eleven hits, a double, two home runs and 11 RBI. Right fielder Matt Wilkerson was right behind him with a .412 average and 12 RBI. As a team, UCSB outscored Cornell 71-12 and out-hit the Big Red 75-46.
UCSB now only has four games remaining before the start of conference play on April 8. On Tuesday the Gauchos travel to Loyola Marymount before a three-game road trip to Sacramento State over next weekend.