Gauchos Can't Erase Deficit, Fall 7-5 to Lamar in Game One of Lamar Classic

Gauchos Can't Erase Deficit, Fall 7-5 to Lamar in Game One of Lamar Classic

March 2, 2007

BEAUMONT, Tex. - Despite plating four runs in the final three innings of play, UCSB (3-6) fell 7-5 to Lamar (9-3) on Friday in the Gauchos' first game of the three-day Lamar Classic being played at Vincent-Beck Stadium in Beaumont, Tex.

Senior Matt Anderson led the Gauchos in terms of average on Friday, batting two-for-three with a walk on the day. Fellow senior Mario Lewis finished one-for-four with a two-RBI double in the game. Freshman Matt Valaika also connected for a two-bagger on Friday, running his total to three on the year. Freshman backstop Steve Domecus became the fifth Gaucho to tally a homerun on the year, blasting a solo shot in the top of the seventh. Senior Robbie Blauer maintained his streak of hitting in every game this season, finishing one-for-three with two walks, a run scored and an RBI.

UCSB starter Jeff Braun (0-3) took the loss, allowing five runs, three earned, on three hits with three walks and no strikeouts in four and a third innings pitched. Seniors Brian Tracy, Bryan Fleming and Justin Segal and junior Chuck Huggins all contributed innings out of the Gaucho pen, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out three to keep UCSB in the game.

Junior Brian Sisk won his third straight decision and Collin DeLome went 2-for-3 with three runs batted in to lead Lamar University to the victory. With the win, Lamar ran its winning streak to eight straight games.

Sisk (3-0) pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts. It was the first two earned runs Sisk has allowed all season, which ended his streak of 23 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. Brian Needham came in to strikeout Mike Zuanich to end the game with runners on the corners and two outs. It was his first save of the season.

Erik Kanaby, who was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, led off the bottom of the first inning with an infield single. That extended Kanaby's hitting streak to 17 games, which ties him with DeLome for the fourth-longest streak in school history. Ryan Baker followed with a double to right center to drive in Kanaby with the game's first run.

The Cardinals took advantage of an error by Zuanich in left field to push their lead to 2-0. Kanaby walked and scored when Zuanich dropped a fly ball hit by DeLome with two outs in the bottom of the third inning.

UCSB got on the board with a run in the top of the fifth inning. Shane Carlson drew a walk and Valaika doubled down the left field line to drive in Carlson and cut the Cardinals lead to 2-1.

Lamar broke the game open with four runs in the home half of the fifth inning. Cody Morrison walked and Travis Dunson reached on a throwing error by the pitcher on a sacrifice bunt. Morrison was able to score all the way from first base on the throwing error.

Kanaby followed with his second infield single of the game, but was gunned down by Chris McMurray trying to steal second base. Baker walked to put runners on the corners. Tracy was brought on in relief of Braun and DeLome greeted him with a 3-run home run down the right field line that hit the foul pole and put the Cardinals up 6-1.

Domecus had a pinch-hit solo home run to left field in the top of the seventh inning to make the score 6-2. The Gauchos added two more runs in the eighth inning. Blauer walked and Zuanich singled to right field. Lewis cleared the bases with a 2-run double to right center field to cut Lamar's lead to 6-4.

The Cardinals responded in the bottom half of the eighth inning. Dan Hernandez walked, Brian Lloyd singled to center field and Dunson walked to load the bases. Kanaby drew an RBI walk to force in Hernandez and push the lead to 7-4.

The Gauchos rallied in the top of the ninth inning. Domecus was hit by a pitch from reliever Justin Walker and Chris Fox singled up the middle. Blauer singled through the right side of the infield, just under Baker's outstretched glove, that drove in Domecus to make the score 7-5. Unfortunately for the Gauchos, the comeback would fall short as they were only able to post the one run in the frame.

UCSB will return to action tomorrow when it hosts St. John's at 4:30 p.m. in game two of the Lamar Classic. Senior right-hander Steve Morlock is slated to be on the hill for the Gauchos.