May 20, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
UCSB (24-26, 8-10) pounded out fourteen runs on fourteen hits and three Aggie errors en route to a 14-6 victory over UC Davis (16-33) on Saturday in game two of a three-game non-conference series at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Hot-hitting junior Robbie Blauer once again lead the Gauchos offensively, finishing three-for-three with a double, two RBI and four runs scored. With the three hits, Blauer is now riding a nine-game hit streak. Senior Matt Emerick, who has also been scorching as of late, has now hit safely in ten out of his last eleven games. The local product out of Santa Barbara batted three-for-five with a double, two RBI and three runs scored in the game. Junior Mario Lewis contributed two hits in Saturday's effort, finishing two-for-three with a double, a run scored and three RBI. Freshmen Shane Carlson and Brian Gump also added two hits for the Gauchos, with Carlson driving in three runs and Gump scoring two and driving in another.
Junior left-hander Jeff Braun picked up the win for the Gauchos, lasting seven innings while giving up five runs (four earned) on nine hits and two walks while striking out five. With the win, the Valencia, Calif. native improved to 2-1 on the season. Junior Justin Aspegren made his third consecutive appearance, tossing two innings and surrendering one unearned run on two hits. With his third straight quality relief appearance, Aspegren has lowered his ERA to 4.50 on the season.
Evan Hudson led the Aggies offensively, batting three-for-five with a run scored and an RBI. Davis starter Brad McAtee lasted only one and a third innings, surrendering seven runs (six earned) on four hits and five walks while striking out two Gauchos. For McAtee, the loss dropped him to 0-4 in 2006. With a single back up the middle in the ninth, centerfielder Michael Hernandez extended his hit streak to 16 games.
UC Davis came out swinging in the first, posting three runs on two hits and an error and leaving the bases loaded. Leadoff singles by Daniel Descalso and Jimmy Goetz got the ball rolling for Davis in the inning. On the ensuing play, Tyler LaTorre put down a bunt that was fielded by Braun on in front of the mound. Braun fielded and tossed an errant throw that sailed over Carlson's head at third and allowed one runner to score, leaving runners at second and third. A walk to right fielder Aaron Hanke followed to load the bases with nobody out. Braun continued to hurt his own cause when he balked in a run on the next play, giving Davis the early 2-0 advantage. The left-hander settled down to get a groundout to third on the ensuing play, but then proceeded to hit two straight batters to plate a third Aggie run and once again load the bases. Fortunately for the Gauchos, Braun escaped impending danger when he retired the next two hitters in order.
UCSB did not let a rough top of the first spoil the rest of the game, tallying four runs of its own to take a one run lead after one. Pitching with a three-run cushion, McAtee proceeded to walk the first two batters he faced. After striking out shortstop Chris Valaika for the first out of the inning, McAtee walked Blauer to load the bases. Emerick made the free passes hurt with a single on the ensuing play to plate the first Gaucho run. Carlson followed suit with an RBI single to right centerfield to move all three runners up another ninety feet. On the ensuing plays, McAtee self-destructed, walking the next two batters to force home the third and fourth runs for the Gauchos. After one complete inning, UCSB led 4-3.
Braun would shut down the Aggie offense in the top of the second before UCSB posted four more runs in the bottom of the inning. After a strikeout to start the inning, Gump led things off with a single into centerfield. Valaika followed by reaching on an error by the third baseman to put runners at first and second with one out. Blauer made the Aggies pay for poor defense, driving a double down the left field line that plated both Gump and Valaika. Following the double, the Aggies summoned Paul Gonzales out of the bullpen to try to stop the bleeding. Gonzales was greeted by back-to-back singles off the bats of Emerick and Carlson to plate the third run of the inning and leave runners at the corners. On the ensuing play, freshman Matt Clark picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Davis would answer back with one run in the fourth to cut the Gaucho lead to 8-4. Hudson led off with a single to right field before Matt Dempsey followed with a single of his own to put runners at first and second. A groundout to Alden Carrithers at second moved the runners up to second and third before an RBI groundout by Goetz plated Hudson and stopped an 8-0 Gaucho run.
The Gauchos responded with five more runs in the bottom of the fourth to blow the game wide open. Valaika extended his hit streak to nine games with a single to start the inning. Blauer followed with a single of his own to put runners at first and third. On the ensuing play, Emerick hit a little squibbler toward Descalso at second who let the ball roll under his glove, allowing Valaika to score and Blauer to move to third. A Gonzalez balk plated Blauer and moved Emerick to second on the next play. After a fly out and a walk put runners at first and second, Lewis doubled down the left field line to clear the bases. Vince DeCoito was then called upon out of the Aggie bullpen, and he quickly induced a ground ball to shortstop. Unfortunately for UC Davis, Dempsey bobbled the grounder and runners were left at first and third. Two batters later, Gump singled to right field to plate the fifth and final Gaucho run of the inning.
UCSB would add one more run in the bottom of the fifth to run its total to fourteen on the day. Once again it would be Blauer and Emerick starting the rally for the Gauchos. Blauer led off with his third hit of the day, a single back up the middle, before Emerick doubled to right centerfield. A Carlson sacrifice fly on the very next play plated the final Gaucho run of the game.
Davis would post a single run in both the seventh and ninth innings to run the score to its final of 14-6. Back-to-back doubles by LaTorre and Hanke plated the run in the seventh. After Aspegren retired the first two hitters in the ninth, Hernandez singled to extend the inning. A dropped fly ball by Gump in right field put runners at the corners with two out. On the ensuing play, Hudson cashed in on the RBI opportunity, singling home the unearned run.
UCSB and UC Davis will conclude this three-game non-conference series tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The Gauchos will be holding a pre-game ceremony to honor the Gaucho seniors that will be participating in their last home collegiate baseball game. Come on out to the park as the UCSB marketing campaign will be in full force, raffling off prizes and throwing out t-shirts.