May 8, 2004
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Junior Matt Wilkerson launched two home runs and tied a career high with five RBI as UC Santa Barbara rolled by Cal State Northridge 13-6 Saturday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The win is the sixth in a row for UCSB who improves to 29-17 and 7-7 in the Big West.
Freshman Andy Graham picked up his second consecutive victory, tossing five innings for Santa Barbara while allowing four runs on eight hits. The right-hander is now 4-4. Junior reliever Alex McRobbie pitched four innings out of the Gaucho bullpen to pick up his first save of the year.
Third baseman Nate Sutton and left fielder Brian Adams contributed to UCSB's 14-hit attack by pounding back-to-back home runs in the Gaucho's four-run eighth inning. In all, UCSB homered four times in the game and scored in every inning but the second, third and seventh. The four round-trippers tie the Gauchos' season high.
The Matadors also displayed some power as second baseman Mark McCauely and shortstop Raymond Ravago each went deep in the losing effort. The two teams combined for six home runs.
Freshman Joe Rocchio (1-3) tossed six innings and allowed nine runs (five earned) on nine hits while suffering the defeat. Jimmy Brettl and Peter Eberhardt tossed the final two innings for CSUN.
The Matadors fall to 16-32 and 2-12 in the Big West.
The Gauchos led early with the help of a five-run first inning in which UCSB's first four batters reached base safely. After Sutton walked to lead things off, first baseman Greg Powers reached second on center fielder John Voita's dropped fly ball. With runners on second and third, second baseman Chris Malec laced a single to left scoring Sutton and advancing Powers to third. Then two batters after designated hitter Taylor Vogt ripped a two-RBI single to score Malec and Powers, Wilkerson belted his first home run of the day with a runner aboard to give Santa Barbara a 5-0 lead.
For Wilkerson, who finished 3-for-5, the first inning homer marked the seventh straight plate appearance in which he reached base. In UCSB's 11-3 win on Friday, Wilkerson reached safely in all six trips to the plate.
Wilkerson struck again in the fifth with a runner aboard for his sixth home run of the year which gave the Gauchos an 8-1 lead at the time. He had struck out looking earlier in the third to end on-base streak.
Sutton finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI. His and Adams' back-to-back dingers in the eighth mark the first team UCSB has accomplished the feat this season. Sophomore Bill Rowe finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Catcher Matt Kalafatis also set a career high with three runs scored.
UCSB and CSUN will conclude this weekend's three-game Big West series Sunday at 1 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
To note, the Gauchos set a new school record for runners left on base on Friday with 19 stranded baserunners.