Baseball Falls To Cal State Northridge 9-7

Feb. 19, 2002

Santa Barbara Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara baseball team had some fielding problems.

The Gauchos defense committed six errors en route to a 9-7 loss to Cal State Northridge at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

UCSB falls to 7-5 on the season while the Matadors improve to 8-4.

Justin Fortugno (1-0) got the win in relief, going one and 2/3rd innings, giving up one run and striking out two, after coming into the game in the fourth inning to relieve starter Tim Dorn. Designated hitter Aaron McKenzie led Northridge offensively, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Centerfielder Eric Verbyke also hit his fifth home run of the season for the Matadors.

Gaucho starter Jeremy Sugarman (1-1) took the loss for UCSB, getting knocked around for five runs, three earned and striking out three, in two and 1/3rd innings worth of work.

In the second inning, things looked promising for the Gauchos as freshman Matt Wilkerson and Chris Malec hit back-to-back home runs, giving UCSB a quick 2-1 lead.

The top of the third was where things started to unravel for the Gauchos as the they dug themselves in a big hole by giving up seven runs on three errors to fall behind 8-2.

UCSB made the game interesting, coming back with three runs in the fifth and one more in the seventh to make it a close 8-6 ballgame.

However, the Matadors were able to put up one more run in the eighth and the Gauchos could only muster up one more run, to lose 9-7. Scott Robertson pitched the final one and 2/3 innings to pick up the save.

UCSB returns to action this Friday, February 22 when they travel to Las Vegas to take part in the UNLV Tournament, where they will play three games. The Gauchos will take on Michigan State on Friday at 1:00 p.m., Creighton on Saturday at Noon, and host UNLV at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.