March 16, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
UCSB (7-9) erased a four-run first inning deficit to defeat visiting Dartmouth (0-3) by a count of 7-6 with the aid of two runs in the eighth inning on Thursday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Juniors Chris Valaika and Matt Anderson each contributed three hits for the Gauchos on Thursday. Valaika finished three-for-four with a double, one home run, two runs scored and two RBI. Anderson also finished three-for-four on the day. The Cameron Park, Calif. native tallied two doubles, two RBI and a run scored. Sophomore second baseman Alden Carrithers also posted a multiple hit game, finishing two-for-five with a run scored and the eventual game-winning RBI. With the two hits, the Portland, Ore. native maintained his team-leading .400 batting average.
Gaucho starter Anthony Martin had a tough first inning, but once he got past the first three outs, he settled down nicely. The Santa Ynez, Calif. product dealt five innings, giving up four runs on eight hits while striking out five to earn a no decision. In the final three innings of work, Dartmouth managed to tally only one hit against the young left-hander. Justin Aspegren came in relief for the sixth and seventh innings, surrendering two runs on three hits while striking out three. Freshman Matt Wade came on to get the first two outs in the eighth before Justin Segal pitched the last one and a third innings for the Gauchos. Segal retired all four batters he faced en route to his third win of the season.
Dartmouth came out looking exactly opposite its 0-3 record would imply. The Big Green packed some big aluminum for its West Coast swing, and they put it to work in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Johnathon Santopadre led things off with a single back up the middle before Tommy Myette followed suit with a single to right field that put runners on first and third with nobody out. After a Myette stolen base, Will Bashelor cleared the bases with a three-run homer over the wall in right field to give Dartmouth an early 3-0 advantage. Despite giving up the three runs, Martin showed poise on the mound by striking out Damon Wright on the ensuing play. Unfortunately for the local product, the inning and the damage had not been completed. Following the strikeout, Michael Pagliarulo took a fastball and drove it into the trees in right field for the second home run of the inning, increasing the Dartmouth lead to 4-0.
Neither team managed to post any runs over the next three and a half innings, but UCSB finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Junior right fielder Mario Lewis started things off right for the Gauchos with a double to right centerfield. After a Brian Gump groundout moved Lewis to third, Carrithers grounded out for the second out of the inning. With the Gauchos in need of a clutch knock, Valaika stepped up to the plate and delivered in a huge way. The Valencia, Calif. native took a pitch and drove it well over the wall in right centerfield to cut the deficit to 4-2. For Valaika, the home run was his second of the season.
After shutting down the Big Green offense in the top half of the sixth, UCSB was back at it in the bottom half of the frame. Once again it was a double that sparked the offensive output. This time it came off the bat of Anderson, who connected on a pitch and found the gap in left centerfield. After a Matt Clark single put runners at the corners, senior Chris Webber lofted a deep fly ball to centerfield to drive in Anderson. At the end of the sixth, UCSB found itself on the short end of a 4-3 ballgame.
UCSB and Dartmouth exchanged two runs in the seventh. With one out, Bashelor singled to left field to start the rally. A single by Wright put runners at first and second before Pagliarulo struck out for the second out of the inning. Andrew Nacario came up with the clutch two out hit for Dartmouth when he singled home Bashelor on the ensuing play. With runners at the corners, Aspegren ran UCSB's balk total to eleven to push the second run of the inning across for Dartmouth. UCSB's seventh inning rally also started with one out. Carrithers got things going with a single into right field. After a Valaika ground rule double put runners at second and third, Anderson cleared the bases with his second double of the day to put the Gauchos within a run once again.
The Gauchos posted the tying and eventual winning run in the bottom half of the eighth. Brian Lee pinch hit for Webber to start the inning and drew a leadoff walk. After a sacrifice bunt by Matt Emerick moved Lee to second, Clayton Shank pinch hit for Lewis in the eighth spot. The move proved successful when Shank singled to right field to drive in Lee from second. With the go-ahead run on second base, head coach Bob Brontsema pinch ran for Shank with Dave Harrit. On the ensuing play, Gump reached on a throwing error by the pitcher that also moved Harrit to third base. Carrithers drove in the eventual winning run with his second hit of the day before moving to second on the throw. Gump attempted to score from second base on the hit, but was thrown out at the plate for the second out of the inning. Segal retired the last three Big Green hitters in order in the top of the ninth to seal the 7-6 Gaucho victory.
UCSB will continue action tomorrow when it hosts TCU at 2 p.m. in game one of a three-game weekend series. Junior Andy Graham is slated to be on the hill for the Gauchos.