April 6, 2001
Santa Barbara, Calif. -
On Friday afternoon, in what is becoming a familiar refrain, the UC Santa Barbara baseball team used a potent offensive attack and a solid effort from a starting pitcher, to win its fourth straight game and its eleventh in the last 12. In the 15-5 win over visiting UC Riverside, however, the Gauchos added a new verse to the familiar tune as they stole a season-high seven bases.
Trailing 2-1 after an inning and a half, UCSB jumped on Highlander starter George Carralejo for three runs in the bottom of the second, taking a 4-2 lead. Shortstop Jeff Bannon was walked to open the inning, and after designated hitter Jed Stringham flew out, Bannon stole second and scored on a single by catcher Donovan Warrecker. Warrecker then stole second and scored on a single by left fielder Andy Campanella, who went to second on the throw to the plate. Center fielder Jared Schumaker moved Campanella to third on a ground out and then an RBI single by right fielder Ryan Spilborghs capped the three run uprising.
After scoring their three second inning runs by playing some little ball, the Gauchos turned the big sticks in the third inning. Third baseman Dave Molidor barely missed a leadoff home run when he smacked a ball off the top of the fence in right field, settling for a double. First baseman Tyler Von Schell followed Molidor's double with a two-run circuit clout to dead center field. For Von Schell, it was his team-leading 13th home run of the season and it gave UCSB a commanding 6-2 lead.
UCR and UCSB each went without a run in the fourth inning. That marked, in fact, the only inning of the game in which the Gauchos were held scoreless. The Highlanders cut Santa Barbara's lead in half with a pair of runs in their half of the fifth inning, but UCSB responded with two of its own in the fifth, reclaiming a four-run lead at 8-4. The highlight of the Gaucho fifth inning was a leadoff triple by second baseman Chad Peshke. Peshke, who came in to score on an RBI single by Von Schell, now has 13 triples, tying him for second on UCSB's all-time career list. Following his one-out single to score Peshke, Von Schell got into the thievery act, stealing second and ultimately scoring on a single by Warrecker.
UCSB added two more runs in the sixth, an inning that included steals by Peshke and Spilborghs, and then they exploded for four runs in the seventh. The Gauchos capped their scoring with a single run in the eighth inning.
The Gauchos finished the game with 18 hits, marking the fifth time this season that they had collected that man in one game. Molidor, who missed Wednesday's win at Westmont with a case of food poisoning, went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles. Warrecker went 3-for-4 with a trio of singles, while Spilborghs, Peshke, Von Schell and Campanella each collected a pair of hits.
On the mound, Rylie Ogle went 6.0 innings, allowing six hits, four runs, three of which were earned, striking out four and walking a pair. While improving to 8-1 with a 2.97 earned run average, Ogle's 6.0 inning effort means that Gaucho starting pitchers have gone six or more innings in 14 of the last 15 games, with the one exception being a seven inning game against Dartmouth two weeks ago. Jeremy Sugarman pitched two hitless innings, allowing just an unearned run, and Justin Angevine pitched a hitless ninth to complete another stellar UCSB pitching performance.
With their 18 hits on the day, UCSB improved its team batting average to .355, the top mark in the nation. Five regulars are now batting above the lofty .400 mark. Molidor leads the way at .433, followed by Schumaker at .406, Stringham at .403, Peshke at .402 and Kolbach at .402. Five other Gauchos are above the .300 mark.
With the victory, UCSB improved to 23-8 on the year, the best start that the program has experience since opening at 23-8 in 1990.
The Gauchos and Highlanders, who will enter the Big West next season, will square off again on Saturday and Sunday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Both games are slated to begin at 1:00 p.m.