February 18, 2012

Gauchos Drop Game One of Doubleheader, Game Two to be Completed Sunday

Darkness brought about a premature end to the doubleheader between the Gauchos and Oregon St. on Saturday after the Beavers had already claimed a victory in game one. With the Gauchos trailing by one in bottom of the ninth in game two and down to their last out, senior third baseman Ryan Palermo hit a solo home run to tie the game.

After the inning was completed, the umpires and coaches from both teams quickly decided that there was not enough light to play extra innings.

The delayed game's first pitch will be at 11:30 AM on Sunday morning, with the originally scheduled series finale to take place 40 minutes after the first game ends.

Earlier in the day, UCSB fell to the Beavers by the score of 3-2 in a disappointing loss that spoiled a solid start from senior lefty Kevin Gelinas. In his first four innings, Kevin struck out 8 Oregon St. batters and allowed just one baserunner on a third inning walk.

UCSB was able to go ahead in the bottom of the third when a Marc Venning base hit drove home leadoff man Brett Vertigan, giving the home team a 1-0 lead headed into the fifth. However, that's where things began to unravel for Gelinas and the Gauchos. After retiring the leadoff batter to start the top of the fifth, Gelinas allowed four consecutive runners to reach base, including two hit batters and a walk. The Beavers were able to coax a pair of runs out of Gelinas on a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly.

A home run from designated hitter Joey Wallace to lead off the bottom of the fifth allowed Gelinas to exit the game with a no-decision.

Senior Jeremy Peterson was solid in relief for UCSB, allowing just two hits in his three innings of work. However, a leadoff walk from the righty proved costly for himself and his team. Peterson began the eighth inning by walking the number nine hitter, John Tommasini. After a sacrifice bunt, Tyler Smith drove in the game-winning run with a single up the middle.

The Oregon St. bullpen was extremely effective in game one, limiting the Gauchos to three singles over four innings of collective work. UCSB was only able to muster one extra-base hit in the entire game, the Wallace home run.

Brett Verigan and Marc Venning each had a pair of hits to lead the Gauchos.

UCSB Head Coach Andrew Checketts was quick to praise Gelinas after the game. "Kevin gave us a real strong, healthy performance. He struck out a lot of guys and gave us a chance to win. On the negative side, we walked too many guys in the late part of the game and our infield defense and catching can get a lot better."

In contrast to game one's dominant pitching, the bats came alive to take over in game two. When the game was called after nine innings, the score was tied 12-12, a clear difference in tone from game one.

Ryan Palermo was 4-5 with four runs, including the last-minute home run that served as an intermission curtain for the two teams. Brett Vertigan had another three hits in game two, going 5-9 on the day, and tied for the team lead in RBI with Brandon Trinkwon, who had three.

UCSB jumped out to an early lead thanks in part to defensive miscues from the Beavers. With runners on first and second in the bottom of the third inning, a ground ball of the bat of catcher Joe Winterburn kicked off the glove of second baseman John Tommasini and into right field. Right fielder Tyler Smith's ensuing throw home was skipped to the backstop, allowing Greg Mahle to score and leaving two runners in scoring position. Singles from Lance Roenicke and Bretty Vertigan cashed in both those runners.

After allowing two runs in the top of the fourth, UCSB grabbed control again in the bottom of the frame, scoring five runs. A booming three-run home run over the right field fence off the bat of shortstop Brandon Trinkwon highlighted the inning.

Oregon St. starter Dan Child had a bipolar stat line, giving up eight runs over six innings- however only one of those eight runs were earned.

UCSB's starting pitcher again provided a solid effort. Andrew Vazquez pitched into the seventh inning, and though he surrendered five runs, only two of them were earned. Like Gelinas, Andrew struck out eight Beavers.

The Gaucho bullpen was significantly less effective in game two, giving up seven runs in just three innings of combined work. Cameron Cuneo was the lone UCSB reliever to not give up a run.

Luckily for UCSB, Oregon St.'s bullpen was not much better. Going into the top of the eighth inning, the Gauchos were leading 8-7. The two teams would go on to give up their respective leads in each of the next four half innings. Ryan Palermo's home run on an 0-1 pitch provided a fitting intermission based on the dramatic nine innings that preceded it.

The Gauchos and Oregon St. will wrap up their four game series on Sunday afternoon. UCSB is still looking for their first win under new head coach Andrew Checketts.

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