Feb. 14, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
In an eight-inning game that was called due to darkness, UCSB (2-3) tallied eleven runs on twelve hits but came up short to USC (5-3), who plated sixteen runs on eleven hits, by a count of 16-11 on Tuesday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Sophomore Alden Carrithers led the Gauchos offensively on Tuesday. The Gaucho leadoff man batted three-for-four with two runs scored, three RBI and a walk in the game. With the .750 day, Carrithers raised his season average to .450 (9-20). Fellow middle infielder Chris Valaika once again contributed for UCSB offensively. Despite going one-for-four at the plate, the junior drove in three runs on the day. Senior Matt Emerick earned his first multi-hit game of the season by racking up a two-for-three day at the dish. The Santa Barbara, Calif. native also scored two runs in the game.
After both starting pitchers failed to make it past the second inning, Gaucho starter Brandt Hill took the loss and Trojan reliever John Dunn earned the win. Hill lasted one inning, surrendering five runs on two hits and four walks.
For the second consecutive game, the first inning was a rough one for the Gauchos. USC exploded for five runs on two hits in the top half of the frame to take the early lead. After loading the bases with no outs, Hill induced a double play ball to Valaika at short that should have turned the momentum in favor of the Gauchos, but USC had different ideas and ended up pushing four runs across with two outs. In the inning, Hill committed two balks to run his total to four on the season and give the Gaucho pitching staff seven in 2006.
After UCSB went quietly in the bottom half of the first, Gaucho right-hander Andy Graham entered the game to work the second. In the inning, USC once again turned on the offense to add three more runs and increase its lead to 8-0. The big blow came off the bat of Cyle Hankerd, who blasted a three-run shot into the trees in left centerfield. The home run was Hankerd's third of the season.
The Gauchos answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the second, sparked by back-to-back singles by Emerick and Matt Clark. With two out, Carrithers singled into left field to score Emerick and send Clark to second. After junior Brian Lee was hit by a pitch, Valaika walked to pick up his first RBI of the day and cut the Trojan lead to 8-2.
UCSB was back at it in the bottom of the third, this time matching the Trojan first inning output by posting five runs in the frame to cut the lead to one run. Junior Robbie Blauer got the ball rolling for the Gauchos with a single into centerfield. After a hits batsmen and an Emerick single loaded the bases, Clark hit a deep fly ball to score Blauer from third. On the ensuing play, freshman Shane Carlson was hit by a pitch to once again load the bases for UCSB. With one out and the bases full of Gauchos, Carrithers came through again, this time yanking a pitch into right field to score two runs and cut the deficit to 8-5. After a passed ball moved Carrithers to second and plated the fourth Gaucho run, McColgan singled to right center to drive in Carrithers and run the score to 8-7 in favor of the Trojans.
Unfortunately for the Gauchos, USC would post six runs over the next three innings to take a commanding 14-7 lead. The Trojans posted three runs in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth to put the game virtually out of reach. Darin Vieira supplied the big blow for the Trojans in the fourth inning with a double into the right centerfield gap to score two. USC scored on a bases loaded walk and a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning to increase its lead to six runs before plating the one run in the sixth.
The Trojan offense tacked on two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh before UCSB answered back with three in the bottom half of the inning. Sophomore Dave Harrit led things off for the Gauchos in the seventh. After Harrit walked and moved to second on a David Parrow wild pitch, Carlson singled to left centerfield to score the first of the Gaucho runs in the inning. With two outs and runners at first and second, Valaika found the left centerfield gap for a double that plated the ninth and tenth Gaucho runs in the game.
UCSB would get one more run in the bottom of the eighth to push the score to 16-11. With one out, senior A.J. Knox doubled to right centerfield for his first hit of the season. On the very next play, Harrit hit a ball that ricocheted off a diving Blake Sharpe at second base and ended up in short centerfield and allowed Knox to scamper home.
UCSB continues action this Thursday when they host the University of British Columbia in an exhibition game starting at 2 pm at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.