May 7, 2004
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara won its fifth consecutive Big West contest Friday afternoon by pacing itself past Cal State Northridge 11-3 on a sun splashed field at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The victory, which improves the Gauchos to 28-17 and 6-7 in the Big West, was highlighted by UCSB's 13-hit attack and right-hander Michael Martin's first win in over a month.
Martin (9-3) tossed an effective seven innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits while striking out one. The sophomore outlasted four Matadors hurlers as he recorded his first win since April 2 against Sacramento State. Senior Aaron Jones allowed just one hit over the game's final two innings to shut the door for Santa Barbara. In all, six CSUN pitchers saw work, but Kyle Jean was the only hurler to last more than an inning. Jean went 3.2 innings and gave up two runs on six hits.
The Gauchos trailed 1-0 after the top of the first but charged back with two in their half of the first, five in the second and two more in the third. Northridge scored twice in the third as well and while Martin and Jones held the Matadors scoreless for the rest of the game, Santa Barbara scored two more in the seventh to cap the victory.
UCSB used the aid of four hits, two errors and two walks to post the second inning five-spot and and received a total of 11 walks in the game. In the second, after junior Matt Stevens led off with a double and advanced to third on a Nate Sutton sacrifice bunt, first baseman Greg Powers delivered a run scoring groundout for the second out of the inning. Then after junior Chris Malec singled and freshman Chris Valaika walked, designated hitter Taylor Vogt singled home Malec and two batters later, sophomore Bill Rowe reached on an error by first baseman Michael Paulk, scoring Valaika and Vogt. Then with catcher Matt Kalafatis at the plate, Rowe stole second and advanced to third while Wilkerson scored on catcher Adam Fleener's errant throw.
Northridge starter Eddy Camacho (1-4) suffered the defeat after tossing just one inning and giving up two runs on three hits.
CSUN is now 16-31 and 2-11 in the Big West.
No Santa Barbara hitter recorded more than one RBI but six different Gauchos recorded one. Wilkerson, who reaced base in all six plate appearances, finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Malec and Powers both also contributed to the offensive outburst with two hits each.
For CSUN, Paulk hit his conference-leading 15th home run in the Matadors' two-run second inning.
Sutton stole his team-leading 25th base of the year with a swipe of second base in the first.
UCSB is now 18-7 in games decided by five or more runs and is 16-0 when scoring in double digits this season.
The Gauchos five game Big West winning streak is the longest of its type since April 1-10, 1999, when UCSB took three straight from New Mexico State and then the first two of a three game sreis against Cal Poly.