Baseball Opener Against Cal St. Fullerton Suspended Due to Darkness After 9-9 Deadlock

Andrew Calica (Photo by Tony Mastres)

UPDATE: Saturday, Apr. 12, 1:15 p.m. – Cal State Fullerton won the series opener in 11 innings after J.D. Davis hit a two-run double into the left-center gap in the top half of the 11th before throwing a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half of the frame.

Dillon Tate picked up the loss for UCSB (20-8, 2-5), moving his personal record to 1-1. Davis improved his record to 2-1 for the Titans (28-11, 3-1).

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UCSB and Cal State Fullerton were tied 9-9 through 10 innings Friday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium until they were forced to postpone the game because of darkness to Saturday at 1:00 p.m. 

Titans' ace Thomas Eshelman, a Golden Spikes semifinalist and Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year in 2013, was nearly unhittable coming into this game, boasting a 5-1 record with a 1.43 ERA. The Gauchos were able to present him with his shortest outing of 6.1 innings while scoring eight runs off of him, six of them earned. The six earned runs Eshelman allowed were the most he's allowed in his collegiate career.

Eight of the nine Gaucho starting position players had at least one hit, and seven starters at least one RBI as well. Offensively, Robby Nesovic led the way with a 3 for 5 performance with two RBIs. Andrew Calica and Cameron Newell contributed identical 2 for 5 performances along with both players collecting one RBI and scoring one run. 

Both teams were on fire offensively, totalling 18 runs and smashing 28 hits combined on the way to the 9-9 score. The game started off with Cal State Fullerton quickly snatching the lead with two runs in the first, with UCSB taking it right back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. That lead would be short-lived however, as the Titans would take the lead with two runs in the second and added another run in the third.

Down 5-3 in the fourth inning, the Gauchos roared back with three runs to take a 6-5 lead. Once again however, they were not able to hold the lead as the Titans responded with four runs to take a 9-6 lead. UCSB would not go down, chipping away at the deficit with single runs in the fifth and seventh innings. They would proceed to tie the game in the eighth with a clutch two-out RBI double by Nesovic, scoring pinch runner Scott Quinlan. After scoreless ninth and tenth innings, the game was called off and postponed since it got too dark.

Austin Pettibone started on the mound for the home Gauchos, but did not have one of his better outings, only pitching three innings with five runs allowed, three of them earned. 

Leading the way on offense for Cal State Fullerton were Tanner Pinkston, Greg Velazquez, and Jared Deacon, each collecting three hits for the Titans. Every Titans' starter had at least one hit, with the team totaling 16 hits on the day.

This game will continue at 1:00 p.m. and the teams will begin to play their originally scheduled game on Saturday 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first one. Tickets sold on Saturday will be good for both games.

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