April 17, 2004

Highlanders' Four Home Runs Too Much For UCSB, Gauchos Lose 18-8

April 17, 2004

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara's pitching staff surrendered the most runs it has allowed all year as UCSB fell 18-8 in game two of this weekend's three-game Big West series against UC Riverside Saturday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Five UCSB hurlers combined to give up a combined 17 earned runs as the Gauchos fell to 23-14 and 1-4 in the Big West.

The loss is the second in as many days for UCSB and severely dampens its chances of capturing a Big West title. UCR improves to 23-15 and 3-2 in the Big West.

Freshman Andy Graham (2-3), who entered the game with the second best ERA on the team, had his worst outing of the year, surrendering nine earned runs on ten hits in just 1.2 innings of work. Graham, like teammate Michael Martin yesterday, did not make it out of the second inning for the first time this year.

Riverside posted four runs in the first, five runs in the second, three in sixth, one in the seventh and five more in the ninth inning. Heading into the third inning, the Gauchos already trailed 9-0.

Just like in the Highlander's 8-6 victory on Friday, UCR slugged its way past the Gauchos by hammering four more home runs. With winds blowing hard out to right field, UCR catcher Nick Salotti belted his eighth and ninth home runs of the year in the sixth and ninth innings. Salotti also homered yesterday. He finished today 5-for-6 with four runs scored and six RBI. Designated hitter Louie Hernandez and Kyle Barrett both also went yard for the Highlanders as part of their 20-hit attack.

For UCSB, Brian Adams, who took over for Matt Emerick in center field in the second, went 4-for-5, finishing a home run shy of the cycle. He drove in two RBI as well as scoring a run. Freshman shorstop Chris Valaika, despite committing his eighth error of the year at shortstop, blasted his sixth home run in UCSB's three-run sixth inning. Left fielder Bill Rowe finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and Greg Powers and Matt Kalafatis both also contributed two hits in the losing effort. In all the Gauchos tallied 15 hits but stranded eleven runners.

Brian Tracy, Loren Fraser and Nate Holguin combined to pitch 6.1 innings in relief of Graham. The trio gave up four runs on six hits. Senior Aaron Jones' troubles continued as he surrendred five more runs in the ninth off of four hits and two walks. In the Gauchos 16-4 win over Westmont on Wednesday, Jones came in to close the ninth but allowed four runs before ending the game.

Junior A.J. Shappi (7-2) picked up the win for UCR, tossing a strong seven innings, allowing 14 hits but only six runs. He struck out four and walked two. Three Highlander relievers combined to pitch the final two frames for UCR.