Freshman Power Baseball Past Westmont 13-4

April 25, 2002


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - If today's game was an indicator of the UC Santa Barbara baseball team's future, then the future looks pretty bright.

Powered by eight hits, three for home runs, from freshman Matt Wilkerson, Chris Malec and Matt Stevens, to go with six strong innings from another frosh, Eric Posthumus, the Gauchos coasted to a 14-3 win over Westmont for the second time this season, Thursday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

The win snaps a five game losing streak for the Gauchos, who improve to 17-25 on the season. Westmont, who falls to 7-31 on the season, looked overmatched by a stronger Gaucho opponent, as the Warrior pitchers surrendered 14 runs on 17 hits.

Wilkerson's two home runs, both solo shots in the second and sixth inning, gives the Trabuco Hills Calif., native a team-leading 13 on the season, which ties the single-season UCSB record for a freshman. Wilkerson tied the record of 13, held by Jared Janke, who accomplished the feat in 1993. The 6-4 left fielder also hit a home run yesterday, in the Gauchos 11-7 loss to USC.

Second baseman Chris Malec, Wilkerson's teammate last year at Santa Margarita High School, also connected for a home run, whalloping a three-run shot in the sixth for his seventh long-ball of the year. Malec and Wilkerson's homers were back-to-back in the sixth.

Designated hitter Matt Stevens (Riverside, Calif.), another freshman, made the most of his first start as a Gaucho, going 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored.

The line offensively for the freshman was a pretty impressive 9-for-15 (including pinch-hitter C.J. Cook's single), three home runs, six runs and nine RBI.

Not to be outdone on the pitching end, Posthumus held the Warriors to three runs, one-earned on six hits, while walking only one batter and striking out two. The Santa Clarita Calif., native improves to 4-1 on the season.

The last of the freshman, Alex McRobbie (San Anselmo, Calif.), struck out the side in the eighth inning.

Senior shortstop Dave Licht also had two doubles for the Gauchos. All of the starters for UCSB, with the exception of catcher Taylor Vogt (Burlingame, Calif.) , had a base hit.

Westmont racked up 11 hits in the game, getting four off reliever Keith Kelley (Walnut, Calif.) in the ninth inning. Andrew Bouman and Mitch Hawkins had three hits apiece for the Warriors.

The Gauchos will take the weekend off and will return to action next Tuesday, when they host UCLA for their last non-conference game of the season.