April 13, 2004
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Freshman shortstop Chris Valaika had three hits and drove in a career-high four RBI for UC Santa Barbara as the Gauchos defeated Cal State Northridge 10-4 in a non-conference matchup Tuesday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The victory was the eleventh in the last 13 games for UCSB as it improves its overall season record to 22-12.
Junior right-hander Loren Fraser (4-1) picked up the victory for the Gauchos in just the second start of his career. Fraser allowed one run on four hits in his five full innings of work. A trio of Santa Barbara relievers, including Brian Tracy, Ivan Ramirez and Aaron Jones combined to toss the final four innings for UCSB.
Valaika who paced the Gaucho offense with a 3-for-5 performance also scored a run and has now driven in eight RBI in his last three games.
The Matadors took an early lead by putting a single run on the board in the first when left fielder Michael Paulk singled in designated hitter John Voita from second. However that would be the last run Northridge would score until the eighth. Meanwhile UCSB tallied eleven hits after the first inning and outscored the Matadors 10-3 over the final eight frames.
Beginning in the second when Valaika scored from third on pitcher Jimmy Brettl's throwing error, UCSB scored in every inning but the first, fifth and eighth. In the third Valaika picked up his first two RBI by singling in right fielder Matt Wilkerson and designated hitter Taylor Vogt. Wilkerson and Valaika were allowed to bat only after second baseman Erik Hagstrom could not field Vogt's ground ball with two outs. UCSB's first three runs of the game were unearned.
In the fourth, junior catcher Matt Kalafatis continued his hot-hitting with his second home run of the year. The solo shot led off the inning and gave UCSB a 4-1 lead. The Gauchos would score again later in the fourth on Wilkerson's RBI sacrifice fly.
Then Santa Barbara broke the game open with a four run sixth which was highlighted by Valaika's second two-RBI single of the day which again scored Wilkerson and Vogt. Earlier in the inning, left fielder Bill Rowe had walked with the bases loaded to bring in a run and senior Brian Adams would later join in with an RBI fielder's choice.
Matador freshman Nick Mahin put the game in reach for Northridge when he blasted a three-run home run to left-center in the eighth. Mahin finished 2-for-4 with a a run and three RBI.
Reliever Nathan Hochgesang (0-4) suffered the defeat for the Matadors as he allowed just one run on three hits in the third inning.
The Gauchos return to action Wednesday against Westmont College at 2 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.