March 4, 2008

Gauchos Beat Conference Rival Cal Poly 10-8 in Slugfest

March 4, 2008

Box Score

Santa Barbara, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara (6-3) beat conference rival Cal Poly (3-5) 10-8 in a slugfest on Tuesday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The Gauchos continued their offensive onslaught hitting four homeruns on the day, collecting a total of 10 hits, and scoring double-digit runs for the second time this season.

The Gauchos got on the board first in the bottom of the first as senior left fielder Mike Zuanich's sac-fly to right field scored Chris Fox.

Cal Poly scored single runs in the second and third innings to take the lead 2-1. The lead, however, wouldn't last long as Fox led off the third for the Gauchos and parked a 1-2 offering from Mustang starter DJ Mauldin into deep right field for his second homerun of the season, tying the game at 2-2.

The two squads burst out in the fourth, scoring nine total runs. The Mustangs scored three runs on four hits in their half of the fourth. Right fielder DJ Gentile singled to lead off the inning. J.J. Thompson followed with a single of his own, advancing Gentile to third. Leadoff hitter Luke Yoder then tripled to deep right centerfield, scoring Gentile and Thompson. Yoder scampered home on the play due to a throwing error by Gaucho second baseman Gunnar Terhune. Freshman Jesse Meaux, making the first start of his career, was bounced from the game after hitting Pat Pezet with a pitch, and allowing a Logan Schafer base hit. Redshirt freshman Forest Cannon came on in relief and retired two straight Mustangs to distinguish the rally.

Meaux pitched 3.1 innings allowing five runs on 11 hits in his Gaucho debut.

The Gauchos answered the Mustangs rally by scoring six runs in the bottom half of the fourth. Junior John DeAlba led off the inning with a solo homerun to right center, his first in a Gaucho uniform. Consecutive singles from Brian Gump and Chris McMurray brought Patrick Rose to the plate. Rose delivered an infield single, scoring Brian Gump to make the score 5-3. With runners on the corners, Terhune laid a bunt down the first baseline. Mustang first baseman J.J. Thompson fielded the ball and threw home in attempt to get the streaking McMurray, but the throw was late as McMurray slid under the Wes Dorrell tag. Grant Theophilus inherited two runners with one out in relief of Mustang starter DJ Mauldin.

Mauldin also pitched 3.1 innings allowing seven runs on eight hits, striking out two and walking none.

With runners on the corners and two down, Gaucho first baseman Eric Oliver hit a monster three-run homerun high over the left field scoreboard to give the Gauchos an 8-5 lead. Oliver's three-run blast was his first homerun as a Gaucho.

Gaucho shortstop Shane Carlson added a homerun of his own, the fourth for the Gauchos on the day, in the fifth to put the Gauchos ahead 9-5. UCSB came into the game with four homeruns through eight games, and left after having doubled their long ball output.

The Mustangs clawed back for one run in the sixth and two in the seventh to come within one run of tying the game, 9-8. An RBI sac-fly from Schafer in the seventh and two Brent Morel RBI singles highlighted the attack.

The Gauchos added an insurance run on the legs of Chris Fox in the eighth inning to cement their impressive offensive day. With one out Fox drew a walk. He then advanced to second on a balk and proceeded to steal third base, his fourth of the season. An alert Fox darted home after Mustang reliever Kevin Castner's pitch bounced to the backstop. Fox scored the tenth Gaucho run of the day without being advanced by a walk or hit.

Senior southpaw Kyle Brown who came on in relief in the seventh, induced Schafer to groundout to first to end the game. Brown threw 2.2 innings of scoreless relief, earning his first save on the year.

Oliver was 2-for-5 with one run scored and three RBI on the day. Fox was 1-for-4 with a walk, an RBI, one stolen base, and three runs scored. Seven of the nine Gaucho starters recorded at least one RBI, while eight of nine collected at least one hit. The Gauchos are now hitting an impressive .298 as a team and have scored 62 runs in nine games to begin the season.

Yoder tallied an impressive four hits in five at-bats, scoring four runs and driving in two. Morel was 3-for-4 with two RBI as well. The Mustangs managed only eight runs on 15 hits, stranding 13 runners on base.

The Gauchos head south to take on Cal State Northridge at 2:00 p.m. at Matador Field tomorrow. Freshman Greg Davis gets the ball in his first start as a Gaucho.