Baseball Falls To UCLA 12-7 Despite Three Matt Wilkerson Home Runs
Feb. 26, 2002
Despite three home runs from freshman Matt Wilkerson, the Gaucho baseball team (9-7) could not defeat UCLA (8-9), as the pitching staff surrendered 10 or more runs for the third time in its last four games, losing 12-7 at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
UCSB starter Eric Posthumus (1-1) takes the loss, pitching five innings, giving up seven runs on nine hits while striking out four batters.
Mike Kunes (3-1) gets the win for the Bruins, going five innings giving up three runs on five hits and striking out three.
The Gauchos took an early 1-0 lead with Wilkersons first homer, a blast over the left center fence in the second inning. However, UCLA rebounded with five runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by a two-run homer by Adam Berry, to lead 5-1.
UCSB responded with a run in the third and fourth innings to cut UCLA's lead to 5-3. Wilkerson connected for his second round-tripper, a shot over the right field fence, in the fourth.
After the rough second inning Posthumus regained composure and pitched two scoreless innings before running into more Berry trouble in the fifth. Berry, a senior leftfielder from Richardson, Tex., connected for his second homer of the game, making it 7-3 Bruins.
Jeremy Sugarman came in to spell Posthumus in the sixth but could only get one batter out while giving up four runs, to give UCLA a 11-3 lead. Sugarman was relieved by Matt Moran, who worked the next one and two-thirds innings giving up no runs.
Down 11-3 in the seventh, the Gauchos did not give up as they mounted a serious comeback to make the game close. Ryan Spilborghs, who went 3-for-5 on the day with three RBI, laced a two-run triple and would end up scoring on a throwing error on the triple, making it 11-6. After a Josh McCanne pop-up for an out, Wilkerson drilled his third homer of the game, a one-run blast to centerfield to make it a 11-7 ballgame.
But UCSB could not score anymore runs while UCLA tacked one more run in the bottom of the seventh to make it a 12-7 ballgame.
Wilkerson went 3-for-4 on the day with three home runs, all solo. The freshman from Trabuco Hills leads the Gauchos with seven homers on the season.
UCSB will return to action Friday March 1, when they host Pepperdine. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.