Heartbreaking Loss Sends Gaucho Baseball Winless Streak To Nine Games
April 22, 2003
Los Angeles, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara (18-22) blew a 10 run lead on Tuesday in a 13-12 loss to USC (21-19). After jumping out to the large margin early in the game, the Gaucho pitching staff wasn't able to prevent the Trojans from coming back. Scoring five runs in the seventh inning and six more in the eighth, USC brought in the winning run on an infield single in the bottom of the tenth inning.
Trojan left fielder Ryan Broderick was the star of the game as his eighth inning three run homer tied everything up, 12-12. He then delivered a perfectly placed single in the tenth to score the final run. With a runner on third base and two outs, Broderick hit a three-hopper into the hole. Shortstop Josh Fulton got rid of the ball as quickly as possible, but the freshman lefty beat out the throw, which was offline anyways. Broderick, who came in as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning, ended the day batting 3-for-4 with one run scored and five RBI.
The Gauchos struck early, getting four runs in the first inning off of Trojan starter Fraser Dizard. Matt Stevens led things off with a bloop double down the left field line. After a walk to Nate Sutton, Nic Rodriguez singled past the third baseman to bring in Stevens. A walk to Josh McCanne loaded up the bases for the slumping Chris Malec. The Gaucho second baseman showed why he was a Freshman All-American last season as he laced a single up the middle, scoring Sutton and Rodriguez. Blair Havens, making his first appearance since breaking his left hand, drove a ball deep to left for a sacrifice fly, bringing in McCanne and giving UCSB the 4-0 lead.
Santa Barbara jumped on relief pitcher Jordan Olsen in the fourth inning with a pair of two-out RBI singles by Stevens and Rodriguez to make the score 7-0. Another run came in when Trojan third baseman Michael Moon could not handle a smash by McCanne. The big blow, and the pitch that chased Olsen, was a long double by Matt Wilkerson, bringing in two more runners, giving the Gauchos a 10-0 lead.
McCanne increased the Gaucho lead with a solo homerun in the third inning, his second on the season.
USC attacked for five runs in the bottom of the seventh off of relief pitcher Rich Sorenson. A base loaded triple with one out by Jason Filarey made the score 10-5. Broderick scored Filarey with a sacrifice fly to give the Trojans their sixth run of the game.
UCSB responded with two runs in the top of the eighth. Two wild pitches from relief pitcher Al Benavente brought in Fulton and Sutton, increasing the Gaucho lead to 12-6.
Facing a six run defecit with six outs left, the Trojans placed hit after hit until Broderick's big blow. USC batted around, sending all nine men to the plate in the eighth. Neither Mike Sutherland nor Justin Segal could stop the attack, each surrendering three hits and giving up three runs. Before it was over, six hits were pounded out and the score was all tied up at 12.
Sean Thompson (5-4) proved that he is a bona-fide ace with his performance on Tuesday. Needing to shut down the USC offense, the senior left-hander only surrendered one run in five innings of work. He did give up six hits and three walks, but calmly pitched out of jams with runners on base. In three of the first four innings, the Trojans had the first two batters reach base. But, as an ace can do, Thompson ensured that none of those runners reached home. For the second time in three starts, Thompson left the game with the lead in hand, only to watch as the other team came back to win it.
Eric Posthumus (2-3) received the loss for the Gauchos. He entered the game in the ninth, but couldn't escape the fateful tenth inning. Bret Butler (1-3) picked up the win for the Trojans with two innings of shutout pitching.
Rodriguez helped provide the offense for Santa Barbara. The Gaucho designated hitter was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two runs driven in.
Havens made his first appearance in 29 games after breaking his left hand diving for a ball in a game against UCLA on February 18th. Havens played left field, batting 1-for-3 with a run scored and one RBI. He left the game in the eighth inning when Brian Adams replaced him in the field.
UCSB plays host to the number five team in the nation, Long Beach State, this weekend. The three game Big West Conference series kicks off on Friday at 2:00 pm at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Matt Vasquez (2-4, 6.02 ERA) will pitch the first game. Michael Martin (2-1, 6.75) and Sean Thompson (5-4, 4.59) will follow in the rotation. The weekend games will be played at 1:00 pm.