April 12, 2003
Riverside, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara (18-16, 1-3) couldn't hold onto a late inning lead in the first game of a three-game Big West Conference series against UC Riverside (25-9, 2-2) on Friday night. Scoring single runs in the second, fourth and sixth ininngs, the Gauchos were able to build a 3-0 lead. But, UCR finally punched through with a big four run seventh to take the lead, and eventually the game.
Brian Adams startedthe scoring for UCSB with a solo home run in the top of the second inning. Adams took the first pitch that he saw from Jaime Torres and smashed it deep over the fence in right field. The home run gives Adams a share of the team lead with his third dinger on the season.
The Gauchos produced another run in the fourth inning with clutch two-out hitting. Matt Wilkerson dropped a single in front of Highlander outfielder Matt Cunningham. On the first pitch to Chris Malec, Wilkerson took off running. Brian Emmons's throw ended up in center field, allowing Wilkerson to move to third. Malec then brought the run home with a single right back up the middle, making the score 2-0 Gauchos.
Santa Barbara increased their lead to 3-0 in the sixth inning. Josh McCanne lead off the inning and reached first after getting hit by a pitch. He moved to second base via a Taylor Vogt groundout. With two outs, Malec hit a ball hard towards first base. Kevin Mangles misplayed the ball, allowing McCanne to cross the plate.
The bright spot for the Gauchos was the pitching of Sean Thompson. Dominating the UCR hitters through six innings, he finally was touched in the bottom of the seventh. Allowing only five singles entering the inning, he gave up consecutive singles to Emmons and Scott Powis. The next batter, Brian Wahlbrink, tripled to make the score 3-2. The triple closed out the solid outing for Thompson. Unfortunately, he couldn't walk away with the victory when Jared Edrosolan allowed a single to Brian Harvey, tying up the score 3-3. Thompson finished the game pitching 6.1 innings, allowing three earned runs off of nine hits and striking out six.
UC Riverside took the lead for good later in the seventh inning. With Harvey on third base, Mangles lined a ball deep enough in center field to allow the go-ahead run to tag up and score. The Highlanders sent nine batters to the plate that inning, scoring four times. They collected five hits and one walk off of three Gaucho pitchers.
The bottom of the UCR order was a combined 7-for-8. Emmons and Powis were next to impossible for the Gauchos to solve, finally recording an out when Alex McRobbie induced a combacker from Powis in the eighth inning.
Jaime Torres (6-1) pitched a complete game for the Highlanders, getting better as the game moved on. The right-hander allowed only one base hit after the fourth inning. Torres's first complete game of the season ended with only two earned runs scored off of five Gaucho hits. Torres struck out eight, walking none and hitting two batters.
Edrosolan (0-3) took the loss for Santa Barbara.
The series continues tomorrow at 1:00 pm at Riverside Sports Complex. UCSB will start Steve Morlock (3-3, 3.33 ERA). UCR will start AJ Shappi (6-1, 3.26). Sunday's game is also scheduled for 1:00 pm.