Gauchos Shutout by UC Irvine in Big West Opener

April 8, 2004

Box Score

IRVINE, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara was unable to figure out UC Irvine right-hander Brett Smith as the Gauchos snapped their nine-game winning streak and fell 7-0 to the No. 10 Anteaters in tonight's Big West Conference opening matchup. UCI's Smith held UCSB to just five hits while tossing his first complete game shutout and striking out 13 Gauchos.

The loss marks the first time UCSB has been shutout since May 9, 2000 and drops their record to 20-11 and 0-1 in the Big West. UCI improves to 21-6-1 and 1-0 in conference play.

Gaucho right-hander Michael Martin (8-1) suffered his first defeat of the season, lasting just 4.1 innings and surrendering seven runs (five earned) on eight hits. The outing was his shortest of the year. Relievers Loren Fraser and Eric Posthumus combined to toss a scoreless 3.3 innings in relief of Martin.

Irvine scored once in the second, three times in the third, twice in the fourth and once more in the fifth to finish off the Gauchos. UCI was led by senior second baseman Matt Fisher, who was 1-for-3 at the plate, including a sacrifice fly and three RBI Jordan Szabo added three hits, an RBI and a run scored while David Kennedy in only his sixth appearance of the season picked up two hits and recorded an RBI.

UCSB collected hits from senior Nate Sutton, junior Chris Malec, senior Taylor Vogt, pinch hitter Brian Adams and shortstop Chris Valaika in the losing effort.

The Gauchos had not lost since March 13 against Cal Poly. After that game against the Mustangs, UCSB went on to sweep Cornell in a five game set over spring break, topple LMU 15-7 on the road and then sweep Sacramento State last weekend. The nine-game winning streak was the longest for UCSB since 1990.

The Gauchos and Anteaters continue this weekend's three-game Big West series Friday evening at 6 p.m. at Anteater Ballpark. UCSB right-hander Andy Graham is expected to take the mound against UCI's Glenn Swanson.