March 17, 2007

Zuanich Homerun Catapults Gauchos Past Loyola Marymount in Game Two, 5-4

March 17, 2007

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A Mike Zuanich homerun in the bottom of the eighth gave UCSB (9-10) the 5-4 victory over Loyola Marymount (10-14-1) on Saturday in game two of a three-game series being played at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

For Zuanich, the homerun was his second of the year. Senior Matt Anderson also contributed his second homer of the season, blasting a solo shot to lead off the second inning for UCSB. Junior Patrick Rose and sophomore Chris McMurray each collected two hits in the victory. Rose led the way in terms of average, finishing two-for-three with a run scored. McMurray batted two-for-four with a run scored on the day. Fellow sophomore Shane Carlson connected for his first double of the season. For Carlson, it was his second consecutive game with an extra-base hit after tripling on Friday. Freshman Matt Valaika added the only other Gaucho extra-base hit, doubling down the left field line in the eighth. With an RBI single in the game, senior Robbie Blauer extended his hitting streak to twenty games dating back to the last game of the 2006 campaign.

Left-hander Chuck Huggins got the start for the Gauchos, lasting five innings and surrendering two runs on seven walks and one hit while striking out four. Sophomore Matt Wade contributed the next inning, allowing no runs before handing the ball over to senior right-hander Bryan Fleming. Fleming allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in one inning pitched. Next out of the bullpen was senior Justin Segal. Segal threw two scoreless innings to earn his first victory of the season.

Centerfielder DeAndre Miller led the Lions offensively, batting two-for-four with a run scored, a stolen base and an RBI. Left-handed starter Daniel Macias lasted seven innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out four to get the no decision. Lee Roberts contributed a third of an inning, surrendering one run on two hits to earn the loss. For Roberts, the loss dropped his record to 1-1. Xavier Esquivel finished the game on the hill for LMU, retiring the two batters he faced.

LMU got on the board first in the top of the second, plating two runs without the benefit of a hit. Brian Wilson led off with a walk before being erased trying to steal second base. After a Michael Glomb hit-by-pitch and a T.J. Bernardy walk put runners at first and second, Huggins struck out Will Dugoni for the second out of the inning. Leadoff hitter Eric Farris followed with a second hit-by-pitch to load the bases on the ensuing play. Back-to-back walks to Miller and Sean Dovel plated the only runs of the inning. With the bases loaded, Angelo Songco drove a pitch into centerfield that sent Chris Fox racing toward the wall. At the warning track, Fox dove and snagged what would have been a bases-clearing double or triple for Songco to end the inning.

Anderson single handedly cut the deficit to one run with his second homer of the year to lead off the second. UCSB took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth when it plated two runs in the frame. A one-out single by Rose set the table for the bats that followed. After a Fox walk, senior Mario Lewis singled home Rose with a base hit to right field that put runners once again at first and second. On the ensuing play, Blauer extended his hitting streak with an RBI single to right field to plate Fox.

The Gauchos extended their lead to 4-2 with a run in the bottom of the sixth. After two quick outs, McMurray singled and stole second base to put a runner in scoring position for Carlson. Carlson took advantage of the opportunity and switched places with the Gaucho catcher, doubling over the head of Songco in right field to plate McMurray.

LMU battled back to knot the game at four runs apiece in the top of the seventh. A walk and a single put runners at first and second to lead off the inning before a Dovel sacrifice bunt moved the runners up ninety feet. On the ensuing play, Fleming was called for his second balk of the season to plate the first run of the inning. With Miller at third and only one out, Songco did his job by lifting a deep fly ball to centerfield that allowed Miller to tag-up and score on the play.

After a scoreless bottom of the seventh and top of the eighth, Zuanich broke the tie with his second homer of the year to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning. Segal worked a scoreless ninth inning after entering in the top of the eighth to earn the victory.

UCSB and LMU will conclude the three-game series tomorrow at 1 p.m. The Gauchos will look to earn their second straight weekend series sweep after taking three games from Cal State Northridge last weekend. Freshman Mike Ford is scheduled to make the start for the Gauchos.

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