April 6, 2008
Stockton, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara offense (21-9, 5-1) powered the Gauchos to a 12-2 win against University of the Pacific (6-22, 1-5) on Sunday at Klein Family Field. UCSB pounded out 12 runs on 16 hits as senior starting pitcher Chuck Huggins (6-1) tamed the Tigers, allowing only two runs in seven innings of work.
The Gauchos scored a run in the first inning to take an early lead that they would never relinquish. Following a pair of singles from Chris Fox and Eric Oliver, left fielder Mike Zuanich singled through the left side, scoring Fox for the first run of the game. The Gauchos first inning run gives them 33 on the year, second only to the fourth inning in which they have scored 35 runs.
After the Tigers got on the board with a run in the bottom of the third, the Gauchos countered with a run in the top half of the fourth. Steve Cook executed a beautiful sacrifice bunt to score Chris McMurray from third, giving the Gauchos a 2-1 advantage.
UCSB scored a pair of runs in the fifth as the Gauchos ran Pacific starter Joey Centanni from the game. Shane Carlson grounded into a fielder's choice to plate Fox for the third run of the game. McMurray stepped to the plate and hit an RBI sac-fly to put the Gauchos in front, 4-1.
Huggins was on cruise control throughout, allowing only two runs on three hits. Huggins struck out five while walking only one en route to his sixth win on the year. Huggins lowered his season ERA to 3.38, while improving his strikeout-to-walk ratio to 49-to-13.
UCSB piled it on in the final three frames, scoring three runs in the seventh, four in the eighth, and one in the ninth, respectively.
The three-run seventh started with a single from Oliver through the left side. After Zuanich walked, Shane Carlson doubled to left field, scoring Oliver from third. McMurray then hit his second sac-fly RBI of the game to put the Gauchos ahead, 6-1. Patrick Rose followed with an RBI single of his own, extending the Gaucho cushion to six.
The Gauchos added to their lead in the eighth when Carlson slashed a two-RBI single into left field. With two out and a runner on, McMurray belted a two-run home run to deep center field, extending the UCSB advantage to 11-2.
After UCSB plated a run in the top half of the ninth, Jason Roenicke pitched a perfect ninth to give the Gauchos their fifth Big West Conference win of the year.
Five Gauchos had multi-hit games led by Oliver and Rose who each had three a piece. Oliver went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, while Rose went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Carlson and McMurray provided the power with four RBI each. Carlson went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBI, while McMurray went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and four RBI as well.
UCSB went 3-2 on the week, splitting a pair against No. 11 Pepperdine, and taking two of three from conference foe Pacific.
The Gauchos resume play on Tuesday, April 8 as they travel to Northridge to take on the Matadors in a non-conference showdown at 3:00 p.m.