April 2, 2010

UCSB Opens Big West Play with Pair of Hard Losses

April 2, 2010

Game One Box Score
Game Two Box Score

FULLERTON, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara (9-24, 0-2) suffered a pair of run-rule losses to Cal State Fullerton (7-27, 2-0) on Friday evening at Anderson Family Field during the first two games of this weekend's three-game Big West Conference opening series. The Titan bats came alive as Fullerton defeated UCSB 10-1 in five innings and 12-3 in six innings.

In the opener, the Titans jumped out to the early lead, sending all nine batters to the plate in the first two innings and they never looked back, scoring seven runs in the first two frames and riding an eight-hitter from Ari Cervantes en route to the 10-1 victory.

Cervantes (3-13) shut down the speedy Gaucho offense, allowing only three of their eight hits to reach the outfield and posting a shutout until the fifth when UCSB scored its lone run on an infield hit by pinch-hitter Allison Taylor.

Jessica Beristianos led the Gauchos, going 2-for-3 with a run scored to lead the Gauchos. Lindsey Correa (3-8) suffered the loss after lasting just five batters in the start without recording an out. She surrendered three runs on two hits and walked three before giving way to MeLinda Matsumoto, who allowed five earned runs on 10 hits in four innings.

In the nightcap, it was all Fullerton after a slow start as six of the team's 16 hits went for extra bases and the Titans piled on late to clinch the 12-3 victory.

It was UCSB's turn to get on the board first as the Gauchos manufactured the first run of the contest. Jessica Ziegler reached on an infield hit, stole second, was sacrificed to third and scored on Katie McWhirter's RBI single to center field for the 1-0 lead.

The advantage did not last long as the Titans responded to regain the lead for good in their half of the first as Cervantes hit a homer to tie the game and K.C. Craddick doubled home Nicole Johnson for the 2-1 lead.

Two hits and a one-out walk set the stage for Johnson in the second as she set the second pitch from Krista Cobb (2-8) over the fence in center field for a grand slam and a 6-1 lead.

UCSB continued to chip away with a pair of runs in the third as a run-scoring fielder's choice by Beristianos and an infield hit by Tiffany Corder closed the gap to 6-3, and the game remained tight until Fullerton opened the floodgates in the sixth.

The Gauchos and Titans combined to strand nine runners until the bottom of the sixth as the Titans loaded the bases for Harrison, who took the first pitch from Cobb over the fence in left field for the team's second grand slam of the night and a 10-3 lead. That hit prompted the Gaucho coaching staff to bring in Jenny Liepman to relieve Cobb, but she did not fare much better as she gave up a two-run homer that ended the game early.

Ziegler (2-for-4, two runs) and Lainey DePompa (2-for-3) had two hits apiece to lead the Gauchos offensively.

The two teams return to the diamond to close out their three-game series on Saturday afternoon at 12 p.m.