May 23, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Four different UC Santa Barbara baseball players homered on Saturday, part of a school-record six homer day as the Gauchos blasted top-ranked UC Irvine, 8-2 at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Brian Gump and Mark Haddow each homered twice, with the two outfielders sending their shots out of the yard in the same inning as the Gauchos defeated a No. 1 team for the first time since knocking off Cal State Fullerton in 2001.
The six homers set a UCSB record for home runs at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The Gauchos had hit six homers previously this year when they defeated St. Mary's on March 15. That was also the last time two players enjoyed multi-homer days as Robby Cummings and Eric Oliver did so. The six bombs were one shy of the all-time school record set in 1996 at New Mexico State.
The victory pushes UCSB's overall record to 29-22 and 11-12 in the Big West while UC Irvine suffered only its second Big West Conference defeat of the year and fell to 42-13, 21-2. It was just the Anteaters' second loss in their past 14 games.
The six-pack of solo homers - Ryan Cavan and Shane Carlson hit the others - was more than enough for left-hander Mario Hollands, who pitched seven sparkling innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out three. The sophomore worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh, preventing the Anteaters from getting back into the game when Eric Deragisch flied out to end the inning.
Mark Haddow led off the third inning by lining his first homer of the day down the right field line, giving the Gauchos a 2-0 lead against UCI starter Christian Bergman. After an out Gump hit a prodigious blast to right-center and following another out, Cavan sent a shot to the eucalyptus trees in right field.
The three homers in one inning fall two short of the UCSB record of five, set at New Mexico State in 1992.
Then, in the sixth Haddow hit his fifth homer of the year, another opposite-field blast and moments later Gump tattooed a ball to right-center that easily topped 400 feet and was the longest shot of the day. That no-doubt shot gave the senior outfielder a team-leading eight this year. Gump finished 3-for-3 with three runs scored and a pair of stolen bases. The two stolen bases give him 54 in his career, passing head coach Bob Brontsema for fifth all-time in school history.
Bergman, who entered the game with a 9-1 record and a 2.90 ERA, had his worst outing of the season as he allowed six runs on seven hits in five innings as his ERA ballooned to 3.33. Cory Hamilton allowed Haddow and Gump's second homers in the sixth.
Holland, meanwhile, didn't face a batter over the limit during his first three innings and after Irvine pushed across single runs in the fourth and fifth, tossed scoreless sixth and seventh innings. David Meals pitched the final two innings and though he walked just one, he received tremendous defensive help when Gump made a sensational diving catch in left-center field to rob DJ Crumlich of an extra-base hit in the ninth inning.
By scoring in the first inning, UCSB's record improved to 15-5 when the Gauchos do so and 20-6 overall when the team scores first.
UCSB and UCI finish their series on Sunday at 1 p.m. when the Gauchos will say goodbye to their eight seniors - Carlson, Steve Cook, Robby Cummings, John DeAlba, Gump, Patrick McIntyre, Zach Samuels (who is scheduled to start) and Oliver. The first 100 students to the game will receive free Domino's pizza. To read more about the promotions and giveaways on Sunday, please click here.
Tickets will be available at the gate.
Getting to UCSB baseball games is easy! From Highway 217, veer right at Steck Circle onto Mesa Road, and take a left onto Stadium Road. Caesar Uyesaka Stadium is on your left, and you can park at Lot 30 which is right outside the stadium. There are two kiosks that accept cash and credit card to pay for parking.