May 25, 2001
South Bend, Ind. - UC Santa Barbara couldn't overcome a two-hour rain delay and a flurry of miscues, losing to Florida International 17-4 in the teams' first game of the 2001 NCAA Regionals at Notre Dame.
The Gauchos (39-16) dropped to 3-11 in NCAA Tournament play, losing their ninth straight Regional game. The Golden Panthers (41-18) upped their NCAA Regionals record to 7-12.
Florida International got on the board early, as Gaucho ace James Garcia and UCSB struggled. The Golden Panthers scored three times, using two walks, two hits, a balk and a a fielding error by Dave Molidor and a sacrifice fly.
After a 1-2-3 first, the Gauchos scored their first run of the game when Jed Stringham was hit by a Willie Collazo pitch with the bases loaded. Molidor, who had walked to lead off the inning, scored on the play. He had advanced to second on a Tyler Von Schell single up the middle, the Gauchos' first hit of the game, and moved to third when Jeff Bannon was hit by a pitch.
Garcia settled down following the rocky first, and retired ten of the next 11 batters he faced, including striking out two Golden Panthers in both the second and third frames and one in the fourth.
Jared Schumaker led off the Gaucho third by poking a double down the left field line. He was able to advance to third on Ryan Spilborghs' fly ball to deep right, before scoring on Chad Peshke's single through the left side, as the Gauchos pulled to within one run, with the score 3-2 after three innings. The UCSB third ended on a ground ball double play, as did the second.
Von Schell led off the fourth with a line single to center, his second base hit of the game. Bannon bunted the Gaucho first baseman to second. Stringham then doubled over the outstretched glove of the FIU center fielder, but Von Schell, who thought the ball had been caught, had to stop at third on the hit. Donovan Warrecker then struck out and Campanella grounded out to end the UCSB rally.
More Gaucho miscues led to six Golden Panther runs in the fifth. After a leadoff double and a flyout, a fielding error by Bannon, a balk, three straight singles and another balk, Garcia's third of the game, made it 6-2 FIU. A three-run home run by shortstop Mickey Torello pushed the FIU lead to seven and knocked Garcia out of the game, with only one away. Jim Bullard came on in relief of the starter, and after giving up a single to left to the first batter he faced, got a flyout and a groundout to end the inning.
Despite getting the leadoff man on in the bottom of the fifth, the Gauchos could not score. Schumaker reached when the left fielder dropped his line drive. Spilborghs then grounded into a double play, FIU's third of the game. Peshke followed with a single, but was forced out on Molidor's grounder to the third baseman.
In the top of the seventh, Florida International leadoff man Paulk started the inning with single through the right side. After the fourth balk call of the game against UCSB, Von Schell was thrown out of the game by the first base umpire. Paulk eventually scored when Bullard struck out an FIU batter who reached on a wild pitch.
UCSB managed two runs in the sixth, taking advantage of an FIU throwing error. Following a Bannon single and Stringham being hit by a pitch for the second time, Warrecker grounded to the second baseman, who flipped to the shortstop to force Stringham. The shortstop threw the ball away trying to double up Warrecker, allowing the Gaucho catcher to advance to second base and score on a subsequent Andy Campanella single to right center, making it 10-4.
Matt Moran relieved Bullard, throwing a scoreless seventh. Russell Wirth came on in the eighth, giving up one unearned run. The inning ended when Campanella threw Matt Huntingford out at home trying to score on a Brad Eldred single to left. The Gauchos went down 1-2-3 in the seventh and had one man reach base in the eighth.
Justin Angevine finished the game, entering for Wirth in the ninth after two runs had scored scored.
Garcia (10-3) took the loss, while Collazo (12-0) got the win, throwing his third complete game of the season. Both men were named Third Team All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball earlier today. Peshke, Von Schell and Bannon each had two hits in the game.
Sophomore right fielder Ryan Spilborghs extended his school record hitting streak to 34 games with a two-out single up the middle in the bottom of the ninth. Spilborghs had gone 0-for-4 prior to his last at-bat.
The Gauchos will face Wisconsin-Milwaukee in an elimination game at 12:00 p.m. central time tomorrow. The Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers lost 12-4 to Notre Dame in the first game of the Regional prior to the UCSB-FIU game. The winner of tomorrow's elimination contest will face the loser of the Notre Dame-Florida International game (3:30 p.m. central time) in a 7:00 p.m. central time contest. UCSB will throw lefthander Rylie Ogle (10-2) in tomorrow's game.