March 14, 2003
Santa Barbara, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara baseball team (12-10) defeated a talented UC Riverside team (17-4) Friday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The Gauchos used 11 hits and a strong outing by starting pitcher Sean Thompson to claim their twelfth victory of the season.
Thompson (2-3) earned his second straight victory scattering 10 hits over seven innings. UC Riverside's Brian Hoff (2-2) was credited with the loss as he allowed four earned runs in 5.2 innings of work.
"Thompson is pitching like a Friday night starter," commented head coach Bob Brontsema. "His command was outstanding and we are pleased how well he pitched against such a potent offense."
UCR regained the lead in the top of the fifth inning on a two-run homer by center fielder Brian Wahlbrink.
The Gauchos tied the ballgame at two, in the bottom of the fifth inning. Wilkerson singled with two outs and stole second to put himself in scoring position for Vogt. The designated hitter delivered again as he singled up the middle, plating Wilkerson from second.
Brian Adams and Matt Emerick singled with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. Josh Fulton then scorched a single to left field, scoring Adams and advancing Emerick to third base. Fulton stole second easily, but on the play Emerick was thrown out at home attempting to score from third. Stevens smashed the very next pitch off the left field wall, scoring Emerick and increasing the Gaucho lead, 4-2.
UCR threatened in the top of the eighth inning putting runners at the corners. With one out, Cunningham singled in Randy Blood and leaving runners at first and third. Relief pitcher Steve Morlock then struck out Brian Emmons and induced a Steinmeyer ground ball to end the inning and preserve the Gaucho lead, 4-3.
Sutton's RBI single and Wilkerson's sacrifice fly provided UC Santa Barbara with two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Steve Morlock retired three straight batters after hitting the leadoff man in the top of the ninth inning to earn his third save of the season.
Designated hitter Taylor Vogt led all hitters going 2-for-4 with two RBI. Sutton finished the game 2-for-4 with one RBI.
"I think we pitched well and played a smart game defensively. We executed when we needed to execute," commented Brontsema on his team.
The Gauchos return to action tomorrow against the Highlanders for game 2 of this three-game series. Saturday's game starts at 1:00 p.m.