February 19, 2007

UCSB Hosts Cross-Town Rival Westmont in Midweek-Game

Feb. 19, 2007

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - After dropping its first home series 2-1 to Hawai'i this past weekend, UCSB (2-3) will look to bounce back and break even in the win/loss column when it hosts cross-town rival Westmont (1-8) at 2 p.m. on Tuesday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

UCSB won game one of the series against the Rainbows on Friday after an outstanding pitching performance by senior right-hander Steve Morlock. Morlock (1-1, 0.64) tossed a complete game three-hitter, tallying nine strikeouts and walking only one en route to his first victory of the season. The Kentfield, Calif. native retired the last sixteen batters in a row to close the game and seal the Gaucho 3-1 victory. The nine strikeouts were a career-high for Morlock, who tallied eight against UC Riverside on April 18, 2004. The nine-inning complete game was the first of that variety since 2005, when fellow Gaucho senior Michael Martin tossed nine complete to earn a 5-3 victory over Fresno State on February 19. For Morlock, it was his second complete game of his career, the first coming in an eight-inning game against Cal State Fullerton on April 29, 2005. In Friday's win over Hawai'i, Morlock surrendered a single run in the fourth and gave up a measly three singles over the nine innings.

In game two, Hawai'i answered back with a complete game of its own, contributed by left-hander Mark Rodrigues. Rodrigues used only 82 pitches to erase twenty-eight Gauchos--one more than the minimum a pitcher must face in a nine-inning game--to earn his fourth win of the season and knot the three-game weekend series between the two teams at one game apiece.

Game three's rubber match between the two teams featured Gaucho freshman Mike Ford pitted against Rainbow right-hander Josh Schneider. Despite holding an early 2-0 advantage, UCSB fell in game three 9-2. Ford showed signs of brilliance in the game, striking out five hitters in 2.1 innings pitched, but also surrendered four walks over that span to call an early end to his day on the hill.

Westmont is coming off a double-header loss to Concordia on Saturday. The Warriors fell 13-1 in game one before being blanked in game two by a count of 7-0. Westmont's only victory came on January 27 when it defeated Pomona-Pitzer in game two of a doubleheader.

Martin is slated to take the hill for the Gauchos on Tuesday. The Red Bluff, Calif. native is making his first start of 2007 after missing all last season due to injury. After the game with Westmont, UCSB will remain home to host Cal in a two-game series starting on Sunday. Sunday's game one is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. and Monday's game two is slated to begin at 2 p.m.

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