April 30, 2004

Gauchos Stun No. 4 Long Beach State With 8-4 Come-From-Behind Victory

April 30, 2004

Box Score

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Junior second baseman Chris Malec belted a two-out grand slam against Long Beach State's Jered Weaver in the top of the eighth inning Friday night to jumpstart a Gaucho offense which eventually rallied for a 8-4 victory over No. 4 Long Beach State. UC Santa Barbara scored four times in the eighth and ninth innings to hand the Dirtbags their first Big West loss and in doing so became the first team this season to send Weaver to the showers without a victory.

Five consecutive two-out singles led to UCSB (25-17, 3-7 Big West) upsetting Long Beach State (30-10, 9-1 Big West). Weaver, an All-American, while picking up a no-decision for the first time this year, became the Beach's all-time and single-season record holder for strikeouts, but left the game with a 4-4 tie.

The Beach left 15 runners on base for the contest. Santa Barbara was coming off an eight-run eighth inning against CS Fullerton on Sunday. The loss snapped a seven-game win streak by The Beach.

After staking LBSU to a 4-0 lead, the Gauchos scored four times in the eighth off Malec's grand slam and added four runs in the ninth off of five consecutive, two-out singles to lead 8-4. Brian Anderson (0-1) came on for Weaver in the eighth, got the final out in the inning, before giving up four runs in the ninth. Anderson started the inning with two strikeouts, before giving up four consecutive hits.

One bad pitch tied the game at 4-4, as Malec hit his fourth dinger of the year with two outs in the eighth inning, after Weaver had struck out 14, and walked one over 7.2 innings. The homer was just the fourth hit given up on the night. The four earned runs is the most Weaver has allowed in a game this year and upped his ERA almost a full half run from 1.13 to 1.42.

Weaver set the career record for strikeouts with 362 by striking out Matt Wilkerson in the seventh inning, surpassing current Major Leaguer Rocky Biddle's record of 361 set from 1995 to 1997. Weaver struck out three in the inning, and it was his 12th of the game.

Nate Holguin (1-1) pitched the final two scoreless innings for his first win of the year. Alex McRobbie pitched four scoreless innings of relief. In all, UCSB's bullpen continued to impress, tossing a combined 7.2 scoreless innings to keep the Gauchos within striking distance.

Malec finished 1-for-5 with four RBI and freshman shortstop Chris Valaika continued his offensive explosion with a 3-for-4 performance, including a single and a triple off Weaver.

At one point Weaver retired nine in a row as he hit double digits in strikeouts for the 11th time this year. In the eighth, Weaver set the single-season mark for strikeouts with his 145th of the season, and 13th of the game, when he struck out Matt Emerick.

LBSU scored its first four runs off of starter Michael Martin in the second to lead 4-0. TJ Bruce's two-run single made it 2-0, before Buhagiar made it 3-0 with an RBI single of his own.A Steve Velazco fielder's choice made it 4-0. Martin lasted just 1.1 innings, giving up four hits.