March 1, 2003
Santa Barbara, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara (7-9) used some clutch hitting to secure a come-from-behind win against visiting Sacramento State (8-7) on Saturday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Trailing 2-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, the Gauchos scored twice to take the lead and then once more in the 8th to claim the victory.
Matt Wilkerson and Taylor Vogt walked to lead off the 7th. A single by Chad Ziemendorf chased out Sacramento State starter Chris Kinsey. Relief pitcher, and eventual game loser, Mel Cuckovich (0-1) induced Bill Rowe to ground to third. Hornet third-baseman Bret LeVier threw away his attempt to force Wilkerson out at home. Vogt was tagged out by the catcher while attempting to score off of the error. Nic Rodriguez than came in to pinch hit and singled, scoring Ziemendorf and giving the Gauchos a 3-2 lead.
The eighth inning was all about production for the Gauchos. Senior shortstop Josh Fulton led off with a single. He was moved over to second by a sacrifice bunt by Matt Stevens. Wilkerson then laced a single to center field, bringing home Fulton. Even though UCSB stranded 13 runners on base Saturday, they collected the clutch hits that they lacked on Friday when they stranded 12 runners.
The Gauchos struck first in the game during the fifth inning. Stevens singled to lead off the frame. After a sacrifice bunt by Nate Sutton, Wilkerson hit a hard grounder towards first base. The ball was kicked by Brian Blauser, allowing Wilkerson to get on base. During the play, Stevens charged home and scored when the shortstop threw away the loose ball. Stevens ended the day 2-for-2 with a walk. He was 3-for-4 with an RBI during Friday's loss.
Sophomore Eric Posthumus pitched the first six innings for Santa Barbara. He only surrendered five hits and allowed two earned runs to score. He left with one walk and five strikeouts.
Relief pitcher Ivan Ramirez (2-0) collected the win for UCSB with two innings of work. He did allow one earned run to score in the top of the 8th. A two out single by Mikela Olsen brought in Cliff Hinkle who had singled to lead off the inning.
Freshman right-hander Steve Morlock pitched the ninth inning to collect his second save of the year. After retiring the first two batters, an error by second baseman Stevens caused more excitement than expected. The next batter walked, putting the tying runner in scoring position. Morlock then got Hinkle to softly line to Fulton at short to end the game.
The final game of the series is on Sunday at 1:00 pm at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. A Gaucho victory will give them their second straight series win after taking two-of-three from Santa Clara last weekend. Junior Matt Vasquez (1-1) will take the mound for Santa Barbara.