March 12, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UCSB (7-8) will host Minnesota (8-3) in a two-game series on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week before hosting Loyola Marymount in a three-game series over the weekend at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
The Gauchos are coming off a three-game non-conference series sweep of Cal State Northridge this past weekend. The Gauchos took Friday's game one of the series by a count of 6-2. Senior right-hander Steve Morlock scattered twelve hits in seven and a third innings pitched to earn his second win of the season. Senior Justin Segal wasted no time adding to his career record in appearances and collecting his first save of the year, contributing a perfect inning and two-thirds of work while striking out one. In addition, Segal got the Gauchos out of a tough jam in the top of the eighth, inducing a double-play groundball to end the inning.
UCSB posted one run in the bottom of the seventh and three more in the eighth inning to complete a comeback and defeat Cal State Northridge by a count of 9-8 on Saturday in game two. Five Gauchos tallied two or more hits in the victory, led by junior Chris Fox's three-for-five performance with a homerun, two runs scored and two RBI. For Fox, the homer was his first of the season.
Freshman right-hander Mike Ford dealt eight innings, surrendering a run on four hits and a walk while striking out five to guide UCSB past Cal State Northridge by a count of 2-1 to complete the three-game sweep of the Matadors on Sunday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Senior Robbie Blauer extended his hitting streak to sixteen games, singling in his first at bat on the day. With the one-for-three day at the plate, Blauer finished the series against Northridge batting .545 (six-for-eleven) and slugging .818 with three doubles, two runs scored and two RBI.
Minnesota senior outfielder Mike Mee brings a 13-game hitting streak into this week's trip. Mee has a hit in all 11 games in the 2007 season, and had hits in the final two games of the 2006 campaign. He also had six multi-hit games, including two hits in Friday night's contest against Missouri State. Mee is batting .474 on the season at 18-for-38. His longest career hitting streak was 14 games in his freshman season. That streak spanned from Mar. 5 to Apr. 2, 2004.
The Golden Gophers have three seniors who have pitched regularly for them this year. Those seniors include lefthanders Marcus McKenzie and Bill Johnson, and right-hander Josh Oslin. Between the three seniors, they have gone 3-0 with all five Golden Gopher saves, a 1.93 ERA in 23.1 IP and given up 12 hits in a combined 11 appearances. Oslin had made five appearances, recorded three saves and retired every batter he has faced in four innings of work. McKenzie is 2-0 with a save and a 2.38 ERA in three appearances, while Johnson is 1-0 with a save and a 2.25 ERA in three appearances.
Tuesday will be the first career meeting between the Gauchos and Golden Gophers. Senior Brian Tracy is slated to throw on Tuesday for the Gauchos and senior Jeff Braun is scheduled to take the hill on Wednesday.