May 19, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
UCSB (23-26, 8-10) was unable to erase a 7-1 deficit before falling to UC Davis (16-32) 7-5 on Friday in game one of a three-game non-conference series at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
For the second consecutive game, junior Robbie Blauer batted two-for-four on day, including connecting for his second home run of the season in the Gauchos' four-run eighth inning. With the two hits, the Huntington Beach, Calif. native has now hit successfully in eight straight games. Senior Matt Emerick and freshman Shane Carlson also finished two-for-four in the game, with Emerick tallying a run scored and an RBI. Emerick has now tallied a hit in nine of his last ten games.
Gaucho starter Andy Graham lasted six innings, surrendering seven runs (four earned) on nine hits, five walks and a hits batsman while striking out four before being tagged with his seventh loss of the season. Freshman Anthony Martin and juniors Justin Aspegren and Justin Segal each contributed a scoreless inning of relief for the Gauchos.
Davis starter Michael Potter dealt seven and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on ten hits and no walks while striking out five en route to his fourth win of the season. After giving up a lone run in the third, Potter dealt four and two-thirds innings of scoreless ball before being tagged for four runs with two outs in the eighth. Nik Aurora threw the final inning and third to earn his sixth save of the season. Lukas Kirby led the Aggies offensively, batting three-for-six with a double, an RBI and three runs scored.
Graham started the game off right for the Gauchos, striking out the side in order in the top of the first. Unfortunately for the Gauchos, UC Davis would soon crack the spell Graham had cast in the first inning with two runs in the top of the third. Leadoff man Daniel Descalso led things off with a single back up the middle. After a groundout moved Descalso up ninety feet, Kirby found the gap in left centerfield for an RBI double that gave UCD the 1-0 advantage. On the ensuing play, junior Aaron Hanke followed suit with a double of his own down the left field line to plate Kirby and run the score to 2-0.
The Gauchos would answer back for one run in the bottom half of the inning. After a leadoff groundout, freshman Austin Hogans singled hard back up the middle to get the ball rolling for UCSB. A single by freshman backstop Chris McMurray put runners on first and second before a ground ball off the bat of sophomore Alden Carrithers forced McMurray out at second and left runners at the corners with two outs. Designated hitter Patrick Rose came up clutch on the ensuing play, knocking in his sixth RBI of the season with a single into centerfield that scored Hogans from third.
UC Davis would not let momentum slip away, posting one run in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth to take a 7-1 advantage into the seventh inning. Leadoff singles by David Treat and Kevin James started the rally in the fourth. James' base hit to right field was bobbled by right fielder Mario Lewis, allowing Treat to scamper to third before being plated on the next play by a sacrifice fly off the bat of Matt Dempsey. Kirby led off the fifth with a single before being moved to third base on a Michael Hernandez double to right centerfield. On the ensuing play, Jimmy Goetz scored Kirby with an RBI single to left field that left runners at the corners. Treat followed with a groundout to Chris Valaika at shortstop to push the second run of the inning across for the Aggies. With Goetz at second and two out, James hit a ground ball to Valaika that kicked off his glove and rolled just far enough away to allow Goetz to turn the bag at third and score the third and final run of the fifth. The run in the sixth would also go down as unearned after a two-out throwing error by Carlson allowed Kirby to round third and score the seventh UC Davis run.
The Gauchos would not go down without a fight, posting four runs in the bottom of the eighth to cut the Aggie lead to 7-5. With one out, Carrithers singled to right field to jumpstart the Gaucho offense. After a Rose strikeout for the second out of the inning, Valaika extended his hit streak to eight games with a single to put runners at first and second. On the ensuing play, Emerick singled to right field to plate Carrithers. In addition, Hanke's error on the play also allowed both Valaika and Emerick to take an extra ninety feet, leaving runners at second and third. Two consecutive wild pitches plated Valaika and Emerick to make the score 7-4 in favor of UCD. Later in that same at bat, Blauer connected for his second home run of the season, a long drive that cleared the right centerfield wall to run the score to 7-5.
Aurora came on after the homer and gave up a walk and a hit, but was able to get pinch hitter Brian Lee to fly out to right to end the inning. Aurora would not have as much trouble in the ninth, earning a strikeout before walking Carrithers and then inducing two fly balls to end the game.
UCSB and UCD will continue this three-game non-conference series tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The pitching match-up is scheduled to be junior left-hander Jeff Braun for the Gauchos versus freshman right-hander Brad McAtee for the Aggies. Come out to the park as the Gaucho marketing team will be in full force, raffling off prizes and giving away t-shirts.