March 8, 2010
Santa Barbara, Calif. - After a weekend series in Palo Alto against No. 24 Stanford, the UC Santa Barbara baseball team returned home for a wood bat exhibition game Monday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium against Waseda University, located just outside of downtown Tokyo.
Waseda, playing a six-game tour of California universities, was able to score four runs on only five hits, but it was enough to beat the Gauchos, 4-1.
Greg Davis started the game for UCSB, limiting Waseda to three earned runs while striking out three in seven innings of work.
Freshman lefthander Mike Wyrick relieved Davis in the seventh and allowed one earned run in two-thirds of an inning. Davis and Wyrick combined to allow only four hits in 7.2 innings, but they also amassed nine walks.
Gaucho fans saw a familiar face in a different UCSB uniform when Sam Phippen, who also plays forward for the UCSB basketball team, made his debut on the mound at Caesar Uyesaka.
With two outs and runners on the corner in the eighth, the 6-foot-9 righty came in and struck out the first batter he faced to end the inning. Phippen came back out in the ninth and allowed no runs and only one hit.
The rare mid-season exhibition game marks the first time UCSB has used wood bats in a game since the NCAA made the move to metal bats.
Waseda University, which is located less than four miles outside of downtown Tokyo, is playing exhibition games against several California schools this month. Head Coach Bob Brontsema and the Gauchos jumped at the chance to play the Japanese team.
Waseda already played fellow Big West schools Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State and has scheduled games vs. Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside. Waseda also played UCLA on their West Coact swing.
UCSB last hosted an exhibition game against an out-of-country team when it hosted the University of British Columbia on Feb. 16, 2006 and last hosted a Japanese team when the Gauchos faced Keio University on Mar. 4, 2003.
The Gauchos were coming off a series against Stanford in which they lost two out of the three games despite outscoring their opponent for the weekend.
The Gauchos open their first regular-season weekend series this weekend, hosting a four-game set vs. Northern Illinois. The first game is scheduled for Friday, Mar. 12 at 2 p.m.
To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.
Season tickets are still available for UCSB baseball games with season plans starting as low as $50! Plus, all fans who purchase a season ticket will receive a free UCSB hat! Click here for more information.
The baseball team, along with all other UCSB teams, are part of the Gauchos Give Tickets program. Gauchos Give Tickets provides the opportunity for local businesses, non-profit, and charitable groups to attend regular season Gaucho home games for FREE! Along with the free tickets, groups can receive recognition during the game, participate in game promotions, and get a visit from Olé!.
Back again for the 2010 season is the Baseball Buddies program which allows youth teams to come to weekend Gaucho games and take the field with the Gauchos! The teams will also receive autographs from their favorite players and sing the 7th Inning Stretch. Please contact Alan Cassinelli in the Marketing office at (805) 893-4629 for more information or e-mail him firstname.lastname@example.org.