March 10, 2009
LOS ANGELES - The UC Santa Barbara baseball team's six-game winning streak came to an end on Tuesday as the Gauchos, ranked as high as No. 23, lost to the Bruins 5-3.
UCSB (9-3) was coming off a four-game sweep over Loyola Marymount over the weekend and had moved into the Top-25 in both the Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America polls. The Gauchos had defeated then-ranked No. 9 UCLA, 7-6, at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium on Feb. 24.
But, after their big three starters - Mario Hollands, Joe Gardner and Mike Ford - had all pitched well in the sweep over LMU, the Gauchos had to resort to a staff day in which six different pitchers took the hill.
UCSB had just five hits against UCLA after rapping 44 over the weekend vs. LMU. Bruins starts Garrett Claypool allowed one run on three hits over five innings.
The Gauchos scored two runs in the sixth inning when UCLA second baseman Eddie Murray's error prevented a double play. Brian Gump (0-2, walk, run) scored on Robby Cummings' groundout and Ryan Cavan, who reached on Murray's error, scored moments later on a passed ball.
That gave the Gauchos a 3-2 lead, but Clayton Edwards, who allowed three runs on six hits in 3.1 innings, was unable to keep the Bruins off the board. Two singles opened the sixth and after an out, a wild pitch scored one run. Moments later a single gave UCLA a 4-3 lead.
UCSB scored its first run in the fourth when Cavan doubled to start the inning, moved to third on an errant pickoff attempt by Claypool, and scored on Eric Oliver's groundout.
Despite the loss UCSB is still off to its best start since 1996 and the Gauchos will play a four-game series at St. Mary's this weekend.
The Gauchos return home on Mar. 22 to face UC Riverside in a brief two-game series. Season tickets for the best seats at Caesar Uyesaka are still available by clicking here. Every fan who purchases a ticket will receive a free baseball hat just like the one worn on the field.