March 29, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara baseball team lost its first series of the year, dropping its second consecutive game to Cal State Northridge on Saturday, falling 3-2 at Matador Field. It is the first time this season that the No. 19 Gauchos have lost on consecutive days.
Tied 2-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth, UCSB starter Mike Ford faced just two batters as Todd Eskelin doubled and Jason Dabbs walked. Clayton Edwards relieved Ford, but had troubled with Justin DeMarco's squeeze attempt to give the Matadors the walk-off victory.
With Eskelin on second and Dabbs on first, DeMarco bunted straight back to Edwards. The right-hander fielded the ball, but his throw to third baseman Robby Cummings was low and to the right, getting past Cummings and easily allowing Eskelin to score the game-winner.
In all Ford pitched eight strong innings, allowing just three runs (two earned) on eight hits while striking out three, but the right-hander lost his second consecutive start.
The Gauchos, who scored 21 runs in Friday's win, scored just six runs in the final two games of the Big West opening series vs. the Matadors. UCSB falls to 14-7, 1-2 in conference while CSUN improves to 11-14, 2-1.
Gump and Oliver were the only Gauchos to tally multi-hit games as three Matador pitchers held UCSB to eight hits.
Marty Mullins, who went 7-for-11 this weekend with six runs and four RBI, hit a solo homer in the seventh to tie the score at 2-2. It was Mullins' third homer of the season.
Otherwise the UCSB offense was held in check by CSUN starter Ryan McCarney and relievers P.J. Rousey and Brian Slover. Following Mullins' home run, McCarney gave way to Rousey, who finished the inning before Slover allowed just one hit and a walk in the final two innings.
Northridge got its first run on Dabbs' sacrifice bunt in the second inning and he followed with an RBI double in the fourth to bring in Eskelin, who had tripled.
Ford rebounded from a tough start earlier in the week vs. UC Riverside, but suffered his second straight defeat, falling to 3-2 this season.
The Gauchos will host San Diego State on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium before hosting its Big West home opener this coming weekend vs. Pacific.
UCSB season tickets remain available by clicking here. Every fan who purchases a ticket will receive a free hat.
Single game tickets are also available by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office located on campus in the Intercollegiate Athletics Office or by clicking here.
Earlier this year UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction, and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity, and social awareness, along with ensuring academic success. UCSB has a 92% student-athlete graduation rate.