March 2, 2004
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - UCLA sophomore catcher Chris Denove's twelfth inning walk-off home run lifted UCLA over UC Santa Barbara 3-2 on Tuesday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The two schools battled and combined for 14 hits in the four-hour, five-minute contest.
Bruin right-hander Daniel Miltenberger picked up his first win of the year with 0.2 innings pitched and UCSB's Loren Fraser dropped to 2-1 after allowing the game-winning homer.
The Gauchos fall to 8-6 with the loss as UCLA improves to 10-3.
The Bruins got on the board early in the first as junior first baseman Wes Whisler chimed in with an RBI single to left scoring center fielder Chad Concolino. Concolino had led off and reached base on shorstop Chris Valaika's second error of the season before stealing second and advancing to third on Gaucho starter Brian Tracy's first balk of the season.
Then in the second, second baseman Mike Svetlic contributed a two-out RBI single to give UCLA a 2-0 lead.
The score remained unchanged until the Gaucho half of the eighth when, with the help of three walks and a hit, UCSB knotted the game at 2-2. With two out and the bases loaded, Bruin reliever Kyle Wilson walked pinch hitter Matt Emerick to give the Gauchos their first run of the game. Then with the next batter, junior Nate Sutton, at the plate Simon's wild pitch plated left fielder Matt Stevens with the tying run.
Tracy, in his first collegiate start, tossed an effective four innings, allowing two runs on two hits. He struck out two and walked one. The freshman, and son of Los Angeles Dodgers manager Jim, retired the Bruins in order in the third and fourth before giving way to fellow freshman Andy Graham.
Graham, the Gauchos' expected starter this Sunday against New Mexico, pitched 2.2 scoreless innings in relief to keep UCSB within striking distance. Runs continued to escape the Gauchos until the eighth as they stranded two base runners in sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth, after catcher Taylor Vogt's one-out single that led to the departure of Bruin starter Hector Ambriz, reliever Kevin Brophy allowed a single to right fielder Matt Wilkerson. Southpaw Brian Schroeder then entered for the Bruins and struck out first baseman Bill Rowe and got then-pinch hitter Stevens to pop out to second. Then in the top of the seventh, after Schroeder walked third baseman Nate Sutton and designated hitter Greg Powers with two outs, UCLA Head Coach Gary Adams called on right-hander Adam Simon who struck out second baseman Chris Malec on three pitches.
Southpaw Ivan Ramirez and right-hander Nate Holguin combined to hold off the Bruins through the eleventh inning, allowing no runs and just one hit from the seventh to the eleventh inning. Overall, five Gaucho relievers combined to hold UCLA to only four hits in seven innings.
The Gauchos escaped threats in the tenth and eleventh as the Bruins ran themselves into an inning-ending douple play in the tenth and could not push home a runner on third with one out in the eleventh. Similarly, the Bruins took advantage of a Gaucho baserunning error in the top of the eleventh to keep the game knotted. With one out and Powers at the plate, Denove gunned out Valaika attempting to take third on a wild pitch. A batter later after Powers walked, reliever Garret White threw away another pitch which could have scored Valaika had he been safe.