May 18, 2001
Santa Barbara, Calif. -
Cal Poly took advantage of UC Santa Barbara starting pitcher James Garcia's wildness on Friday, scoring five runs on the Gaucho ace, to win the opener of a three game Big West series between the schools, 5-3.
UCSB got on the board first, scoring a run in the bottom half of the second inning on a two out walk to catcher Donovan Warrecker and then an RBI triple by right fielder Ryan Spilborghs. The triple by Spilborghs extended his school-record hitting streak to 31 straight games, but he was promptly picked off of third base by Mustang catcher Keith Anderson, ending the threat.
Although Garcia held Cal Poly scoreless through four innings, it wasn't easy. In the first inning, the Mustangs had a pair of hits and a walk, but center fielder Bill Saul was caught stealing and his team stranded a pair of runners. In the second, with two outs, Garcia walked two batters and hit another, loading the bases, but third baseman Chris Martinez took a called third strike to strand three.
After a one-two-three third and fourth innings, Garcia got into trouble in the fifth. Leadoff hitter Scott Anderson was hit by a pitch and then Saul, attempting a sacrifice, was safe at first on a wild throw by third baseman Dave Molidor. Saul and Anderson advanced to second and third on the errant throw. Martinez then grounded out, scoring Anderson, with Saul holding at second. Second baseman Kevin Tillman walked to put runners on first and second and then first baseman Kyle Wilson singled to left, scoring Saul with the second run.
Cal Poly made its lead 3-1 in the sixth inning on a solo home run by right fielder Phil Thompson. After a scoreless seventh, the Mustangs tallied two more runs in the eighth inning. The rally started when Garcia hit his fourth batter of the game, Thompson, with two outs.
The Gauchos, meanwhile, were collecting base hits, but couldn't mount a serious threat against Cal Poly starter Kevin Correia. UCSB did, however, get two back in the bottom of the eighth inning off of reliever Quin McGinnis. Molidor reached on an error and then two outs later left fielder Jed Stringham belted his 13th home run of the season, narrowing the gap to 5-3. Santa Barbara, however, never got any closer and that was the final score.
The loss snaps Garcia's nine game winning streak and drops him to 10-2. He wound up going 7.2 innings, allowing six hits, four earned runs, walking four, hitting four and striking out seven. Correia improves to 6-1. The Gauchos outhit Cal Poly 10-8, but it wasn't enough.
UCSB drops to 38-14 overall and 11-5 in the Big West. They now trail Cal State Fullerton by a game and a half as the Titans enter tonight's home game against Long Beach State. The Gauchos lead over Long Beach is now just a half game. Cal Poly is now 29-25 overall and 7-9 in league.
UCSB and Cal Poly will return to the Caesar Uyesaka Stadium diamond for the second game of their three game series on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.