May 2, 2003
Northridge, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara (20-24, 3-10) received a second straight solid outing from Matt Vasquez (3-4) in posting a 7-1 victory against Cal State Northridge (11-37, 5-8) on Friday afternoon. Vasquez pitched a complete game, allowing only one run on five hits while striking out 10 Matador batters.
Vasquez was dominating the entire afternoon, never allowing the Northridge hitters to put together a significant rally. After allowing the single run, the junior right hander closed out the game by retiring 14 of the last 15 batters.
UCSB got on the board first with a couple of unearned runs in the top of the third inning. Matt Stevens led off the inning and reached on an error by Matador second baseman Drew Aguailar. Stevens stole second base and came around to score on a single by Josh Fulton. Fulton would move to second on a balk by CSUN starting pitcher Edward Camacho and later score when a Camacho pitch reached the backstop, giving the Gauchos a 2-0 lead.
Northridge responded with a solo run in the bottom of the fifth. The first two runners reached base by a hit. With two on and nobody out, Wade Friesen dropped a sacrifice bunt. Matt Vasquez looked Michael Paulk back to third, but as soon as the throw went to first, Paulk took off for home. The throw from Josh McCanne was not in time as Paulk slid in under the tag by Gaucho catcher Chad Ziemendorf.
The Matador defense helped the Gauchos score another unearned run in the seventh inning. With two outs and two runners on, Fulton sent a ball in the hole that CSUN shortstop fielded but threw wildly to first, allowing Stevens to score easily from third. The error gave the Gauchos a 3-1 lead.
Santa Barbara's defense made a couple of spectacular plays to help Vasquez. Left fielder Blair Havens made a diving catch to rob Aguailar of a hit in the first inning. Chris Malec ensured that the bottom of the seventh inning would go smoothly when he made a near-impossible, over the shoulder, diving catch in short right field to take a single away from Randy Simpson.
The Gauchos broke the scoring open with four runs in the eighth inning. Designated hitter Nic Rodriguez started the frame off with a single. Scott Robertson came in to relieve Camacho, but was unable to settle the Gaucho attack. Matt Wilkerson laced a single to right field, and with the rainy conditions, the ball skipped past the right fielder to move Wilkerson to third and brought Rodriguez in to score. With two runners on, Ziemendorf blasted a ball deep over the fence in left field to clear the bases and give the Gauchos a 7-1 lead. The home run was the third on the year for the Gaucho catcher.
Vasquez's performance followed up a strong outing last Friday against Long Beach State. Lasting 8.2 innings, he surrendered four runs in the first, then shut down the 49er offense before being pulled after allowing an unearned run in the ninth. Vasquez left that game with a no-decision after striking out eight batters.
Friday's game started at 3:00 pm, instead of the 2:00 pm time originally reported. The game was played under a heavy rain drizzle at times, but was never interrupted.
Saturday's game starts at 1:00 pm at Matador Field. Michael Martin (2-2) will make the start for the Gauchos. Kyle Jean (0-7) will take the mound for Northridge.