March 13, 2004
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - For the second day in a row, Cal Poly's pitching was too much for the Gauchos to overcome as the UC Santa Barbara baseball team dropped the rubber match of this weekend's three-game, non-conference series 5-4 Saturday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Mustang left-hander Garret Olsen stymied UCSB's offense over 6.1 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits while striking out a career high 13 batters.
Olsen improves to 4-2 while Gaucho right-hander Andy Graham (0-1) suffers his first loss of the year despite also pitching effectively. The freshman allowed just three runs (two earned) on eight hits over his 5.1 innings of work. He struck out two and walked two.
UCSB is now 11-10 while Cal Poly improves to 19-8-1.
The Gauchos led 1-0 for the first four innings after senior third baseman Nate Sutton scored on Mustang catcher Cory Taillon's thrown-away pick-off attempt in the bottom of the first. Sutton had singled to lead-off the inning, stole second and advanced to third on a ground out.
Cal Poly finally got to Graham in the fifth as they put two runs on the board to take a 2-1 lead and would never look back. With one out and runners on second and third, left fielder Brandon Roberts plated Bret Burgland with an RBI groundout before center fielder Sam Herbet singled to center, scoring the go-ahead run.
In the sixth, the Mustangs scored three more, including the eventual winning run. After having scored once for a 3-1 lead, Roberts stepped up for Cal Poly and lined a two-RBI double to right-field putting the Gauchos in a four-run hole.
UCSB battled back to score three runs in the seventh with the help of RBI singles from Sutton and second baseman Chris Malec and an RBI sacrifice fly from catcher Taylor Vogt. With the tying run on second Mustang closer Nolan Moser got right fielder Matt Wilkerson to strike out swinging to end the threat. The Gauchos put the tying run on second again in the ninth, but Moser got Vogt to ground out to second for the final out. Moser recorded his sixth save of the season with 2.2 scoreless relief innings.
Cal Poly's Roberts finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and also extended his Big West leading hit streak to 24 games
Offensively for the Gauchos, Sutton went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
With the win, the Mustangs win the three-game, non-conference series over the Gauchos 2-1. After taking Thursday's opener 8-3, UCSB was outhit by the Mustangs 21-9 as they fell in the series' final two games. The Gauchos now enter a seven-day period in which they will not see any action on the field but will return to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium Sunday March 21 to take on Cornell University at 1 p.m. in game one of a five-game series.