May 3, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A capacity crowd at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium witnessed Mario Hollands pitch the first complete game of his career, as UC Santa Barbara defeated No. 12 Cal State Fullerton 10-2 Saturday afternoon. The Gauchos (30-15, 9-5) responded in impressive fashion to Friday's disappointing loss, scoring 10 runs on 14 hits to knot the three-game series at 1-1. Hollands (6-2) faced only five batters over the minimum, scattering four hits over nine innings, while shortstop Shane Carlson went a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate.
The Gauchos rallied in the bottom of the first with two outs as Carlson's RBI single into shallow right field gave the Gauchos an early 1-0 lead. With runners on the corners, third baseman Patrick Rose took a page out of Carlson's book, dumping his own RBI single into shallow right. Then, with runners on the corners, Titan starter Daniel Renken balked on a pickoff move to first, allowing Carlson to score from third, while Rose advanced to second. After one inning of play, UCSB held a 3-0 advantage.
Fullerton got on the scoreboard in the top of the second inning courtesy of left fielder Gary Brown's solo home run. Brown's fourth jack of the year cut the Gaucho lead to two, 3-1.
The Gauchos blew the game wide open in the bottom of the second, scoring four runs on two hits. With runners on first and second, cleanup hitter Mike Zuanich laced an RBI single to left center field, allowing Chris Fox to race around third for the fourth Gaucho run of the game. Then, with two-out and two-on, shortstop Shane Carlson launched a three-run home run high into the Santa Barbara sky. Carlson's fifth long ball of the season gave the Gauchos a six-run lead after only two innings.
Santa Barbara scored again in the bottom of the fourth. With Carlson on first, Patrick Rose hit a double into the left center field gap. Fullerton left fielder Gary Brown was unable to come up with the ball cleanly, allowing Carlson to glide home safely.
The Titans notched a single run in the top of the sixth on right fielder Erik Komatsu's RBI single. The sixth inning was also the only inning in which Hollands allowed more than one Titan hitter to reach base.
UCSB wasn't done scoring, as the offense pounded out two more runs on three hits in the bottom of the eighth. With one out and nobody on, first baseman Eric Oliver belted a solo shot, his second home run in as many days. Oliver's fourth round-tripper gave the Gauchos a comfortable 9-2 lead. The inning would continue, however, as designated hitter John DeAlba's sacrifice fly to deep right scored Zuanich from third.
Hollands, a native of El Cerrito, Calif., was perfect after seven innings, mowing down the Titans in order in the bottom of the ninth to secure his first-career complete game. The redshirt freshman lowered his ERA to 2.97, while improving his already sparkling strikeout-to-walk ratio to 51-to-19.
Carlson had a monster day at the plate, going a perfect 5-for-5 with three runs scored, and four RBI. Oliver scored three runs in a 2-for-3 performance, while Rose added an RBI with a 3-for-5 effort.
UCSB resumes play tomorrow, May 4 at 1:00 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, as they finish out the three-game set against the Titans. The crucial rubber match pits a seven-game winner in Gauchos' southpaw Chuck Huggins, against Fullerton's eight-game winner, Cory Arbiso.