April 15, 2011
FULLERTON, Calif. - Senior Jesse Meaux was outstanding as he pitched into the eighth inning in UC Santa Barbara's Friday night game at No. 7 Cal State Fullerton, but the Gauchos (14-14 overall, 2-2 Big West) could muster just two runs and lost a 3-2 decision to the Titans (24-9, 6-1).
The Gauchos scored first when they scored a run in the second inning. With one out, third baseman Ryan Palermo singled to left field and left fielder Joe Wallace bounced a single through the right side with Palermo stopping at second.
Designated hitter Lance Roenicke then drove the first pitch from Noe Ramirez into left field for a single and Palermo stormed home from second base to give UCSB a 1-0 lead. Roenicke finished the night with a pair of hits for the Gauchos.
The Santa Barbara lead didn't last for long.
With one out in the bottom of the third, Jared Deacon was safe at first base on an error. Matt Orloff lined an 0-2 pitch from Meaux into left field with Deacon stopping at second. Ivory Thomas, the leadoff hitter, grounded a single through the left side to load the bases.
Anthony Trajano tied the score when he hit a fly ball to Derek Eligio in center field and Deacon tagged and came home. Orloff moved to third and Thomas to second on the fly out.
Nick Ramirez, who earned his eighth save when he moved from first base to the pitcher's mound in the ninth inning, singled to left, scoring Orloff and moving Thomas to third, where he was stranded.
The Gauchos tied the score in the sixth. With the count full at 3-2, first baseman Trevor Whyte was drilled by a Noe Ramirez pitch. One out later, Palermo walked with Whyte moving on to second base. Whyte then advanced to third on an error by the catcher Deacon. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Wallace with Palermo staying-put at first. Roenicke drove a double to left field, but Palermo stopped at third base and catcher Joe Winterburn grounded out to end the inning.
The Titans reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Nick Ramirez walked to start the inning and two outs later he was chased home on a triple down the right field line by Lopez.
Nick Ramirez's run was the final tally of the game, but it wasn't the last time he would be a part of the action.
After Dylan Floro hurled a hitless and scoreless eighth inning, Nick Ramirez shifted from first base to the pitcher's mount and tossed a scoreless ninth, striking out a pair, to earn his eighth save of the season. Noe Ramirez was credited with his sixth victory.
Meaux, who was tagged with the loss, pitched 7.1 innings and allowed the seventh-ranked team in the nation just five hits and three runs, only two of which were earned. He had just a pair of strikeouts, but walked only two as well.
The Gauchos and Titans will play the second game of the three game Big West Conference series on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. in Goodwin Field.