March 7, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara took a 3-0 series lead over Loyola Marymount Saturday after winning both ends of a doubleheader at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The potent offense allowed the Gauchos to come from behind in both games and pick up victories by scores of 12-9 and 9-5.
In the first game, UCSB trailed 9-6 before scoring six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. First baseman Eric Oliver and third baseman Robby Cummings both hit two-run doubles to give the Gauchos the lead.
Joe Gardner had another strong performance, but without the incredible statistics he put up in his first two starts as a Gaucho. Although the Lions scored six runs, only one was earned. Strong, unpredictable winds plagued both teams throughout the day, contributing to eight combined errors.
Gardner maintained his composure and kept the team in the game through seven difficult innings. With six strikeouts in the game, he has now fanned a team-high 27 batters in three starts this year. He also leads UCSB starters with a 1.66 ERA in 21.2 innings.
Cummings finished the game with three hits in four at-bats, including two doubles and four RBI. Junior shortstop Ryan Cavan added three RBI and scored twice.
The Gauchos smacked 15 hits in the game as all but two starters had hits. The other seven that did connect had at least two hits apiece.
David Meals pitched two innings in relief to earn the decision and improve to 1-0 on the year. After a rocky eighth inning, he shut down LMU in the ninth inning to close out the game.
LMU reliever Jordan McClintick (1-1) suffered the loss. Ryan Hawthorne and Trevor Gee each had three hits for the Lions with Gee knocking in a pair as well.
Sophomore right-hander Jesse Meaux (1-0) took the mound for the Gauchos in game two. He struggled with control early, but kept the game close through five innings until the offense scored six runs in the fifth to put him in line for the win.
The Lions plated five runs in the third before the Gauchos rallied for three of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
Junior Zachary Samuels pitched four scoreless innings in relief to earn his first save of the season. He struck out three of the15 batters he faced and allowed only three Lions to reach base.
Oliver had another two hits and two RBI in the second game. He finished the day 4-for-8 with three runs scored and four RBI. Cummings added another RBI, giving him a team-high 15 RBI in only nine games played. Cavan went 5-for-9 on the day with four runs scored and three RBI. He leads the team with a blistering .519 batting average.
Alex Gillingham (2-1) took the loss for the Lions, giving up all nine runs (seven earned) in five innings. Infielder Jonathan Johnson went 2-for-4, the only LMU player to have multiple hits.
The middle of the UCSB batting order fueled the offense by going 17-for-35 on the day with 14 RBI. When the Gaucho offense rained, it poured, scoring all 21 runs in only five innings.
UCSB has won five straight games and improved to 8-2 on the season. LMU is now 8-5.
The final game of the series will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Tickets can be purchased at the main entrance beginning one hour prior to game time.