March 14, 2010

Victory Completes Four-game Sweep of NIU

March 14, 2010

Box Score

Santa Barbara, Calif. - Jesse Meaux threw seven innings without allowing an earned run to help UC Santa Barbara complete a four-game sweep of Northern Illinois University on Sunday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Meaux improved to 3-0 on the season by allowing only six hits and striking out two Huskies in the 13-4 victory over NIU. He allowed only two runs, both unearned, to lower his ERA to 1.59.

The UCSB offense had a great day as well, accumulating 14 hits and 13 runs in the series finale.

The Gauchos got on top early by scoring twice in the first inning. Sean Williams got it started with a single to left field and advanced to second when Matt Valaika walked. The next batter, Mark Haddow, singled Williams home.

Valaika advanced to third on a fly ball off Beck Wheeler's bat. With runners on first and third, Huskies catcher threw the ball into centerfield trying to throw out Haddow stealing second, allowing Valaika to score.

UCSB added a run in the second and third innings to put them ahead 4-0 before blowing the game open with a three run fourth inning.

After putting runners on the corners, NIU starter Kyle Glancy walked Williams and Valaika consecutively to load the bases and walk a run in. The Gauchos continued to ride the merry-go-round when Tom Zelasko relieved Glancy and walked the first two batters he faced to give the Gauchos a seven run lead.

The offense did not let up in the fifth inning. First baseman Trevor Whyte walked to lead off the inning and Ryan Palermo reached on a throwing error by NIU third baseman Troy White. Left fielder Lance Roenicke stroked a three-run shot off the scoreboard to stretch the lead to double digits.

The NIU pitching staff struggled to throw strikes. Ten Gauchos were issued free passes in the game.

Greg Davis came in to relieve Meaux in the eighth inning and pitched well for two innings to close the game. He allowed one earned run and two hits with one strikeout.

Williams led the offensive onslaught with three hits and three runs. He finished the weekend 6-for-15 with five runs scored.

Haddow went 2-for-2 with two RBI until he was replaced by Ben Edelstein, who added a couple hits of his own, as well as a great catch on the warning track in the sixth inning off the bat of Joe Etcheverry.

Haddow had a big weekend, finishing the series 6-for-13 with six RBI. He is second on the team with 10 RBI on the year. Valaika's two RBI today give him a team-leading 12 RBI.

While the UCSB bats showed up big to the tune of 31 runs over the weekend, the pitching staff was equally impressive. Starters Mario Hollands, Nick Loredo, Nick Capito, and Meaux combined to throw 29.1 innings and allow only eight earned runs, good for a 2.47 ERA.

The last time UCSB swept a four-game series was March 6-8 at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium against Loyola Marymount University. Both series featured masterpieces by Hollands. The big lefty pitched a one-hit shutout and struck out ten in a 1-0 win over LMU last year and struck out 16 Huskies in the first game of the NIU series on Friday.

The team will be back in action at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium on Saturday with a doubleheader against New Mexico State. The first game starts and noon, and they will also play Sunday at 11 A.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 alan.cassinelli@athletics.ucsb.edu.