March 18, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Five Gauchos posted a multiple-hit game as UCSB (8-9) posted thirteen unanswered runs en route to a 13-3 victory over TCU (10-10) on Saturday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Junior first baseman Robbie Blauer led the Gauchos offensively with a three-for-four day at the plate. The Huntington Beach, Calif. native tallied a home run, three singles, three runs scored and three RBI. Junior phenom Chris Valaika also posted three hits in the game, batting three-for-five with two doubles, two runs scored and three RBI. Sophomore Alden Carrithers raised his already stellar .400 batting average with a two-for-four day at the plate. The Portland, Ore. native tripled, walked once, stole a base and scored three runs on the day. Senior Matt Emerick and freshman Matt Clark round out the multi-hit Gaucho performers on Saturday. Emerick batted two-for-three with a walk and a stolen base. Clark finished two-for-four with a walk and a run scored. Juniors Matt McColgan and Brian Lee each made his presence felt with one big swing of the bat. With two runners on in the fifth, McColgan cleared the 400 foot mark to center field for his only hit of the day and his first home run of the season. Lee only needed one pitch to pick up a game-high four RBI and his team-leading fourth home run of the season. The Chatsworth, Calif. native pinch hit for designated hitter Matt Anderson with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. TCU tried to put a first pitch fastball past the left-handed hitting Lee, but instead of ending up in the catcher's mitt, the ball ended up halfway up the trees behind the right field wall.
Gaucho starter Andy Graham tossed a gem on Saturday. The Loyola High School product dealt eight innings, surrendering two runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out six. At one point in the game, Graham retired seven Horned Frog batters in a row. Junior Justin Aspegren came on in the ninth to capture the first two outs of the inning. Freshman Matt Wade relieved Aspegren to close out the game and give UCSB the 13-3 victory. For Graham, the win was his first of the season.
Texas Christian drew first blood when it scored one run in the first and another in the second to take an early 2-0 advantage after two innings. With one out, Bryan Kervin singled down the right field line to get the rally started for TCU in the first. After Graham struck out Chad Huffman on the ensuing play, Keith Conlon singled back up the middle for the first of his three hits on the day to put runners at first and second. Horned Frog catcher Andrew Walker followed suit with a single to left field to drive in Kervin from second. In the second inning, TCU once again got things started with one out. This time it was a drag bunt by Ryan Pack that jumpstarted the Horned Frog offense. After a stolen base and a base hit put runners at first and third, Carrithers robbed Steven Trout of a hit when he dove for a ball down the right field line. Although he dropped the ball when he hit the ground, a heads-up Carrithers quickly gathered his composure and forced Corey Steglich out at second base, crediting Trout with a fielder's choice on the play. Fortunately for Trout, he did earn an RBI when Pack scampered home from third when the ball dropped out of Carrithers' glove.
UCSB knotted the score at two runs by posting two in the bottom of the third. The big blow came off the bat of Blauer when he connected on a pitch for a two-run home run. Carrithers, who scored on the blast, had reached with a single to left field earlier in the inning.
Neither team scored in the fourth inning, but UCSB was back at it in the bottom of the fifth. The Gauchos posted five runs on five hits in the inning. With one out, Carrithers once again got the ball rolling for the Gauchos. The quality leadoff man took a first pitch fastball and drove it over Pack's head in centerfield for a triple. For Carrithers, it was his first triple on the season. On the ensuing play, Valaika connected on the first of his two doubles on the day to score Carrithers and give UCSB the 3-2 advantage. Blauer made it three straight hits when he singled to left field to drive in Valaika. After an Anderson pop-out and a Clark walk put runners at first and second, McColgan homered to deep centerfield to drive in the final three Gaucho runs of the inning. For McColgan, the three RBI give him 11 on the season.
After shutting down the TCU offense in the top of the sixth, UCSB went back to work in the bottom half of the frame. Mario Lewis started things off right with a single to left centerfield. After a walk put runners at first and second, Valaika cleared the bases with a double to left centerfield that gave UCSB the 9-2 lead.
UCSB added four more runs in the bottom of the eighth for good measure. Gump was hit by a pitch to start the inning for UCSB. After a Valaika single and a Blauer walk loaded the bases, head coach Bob Brontsema pinch-hit Lee for Anderson. Lee took the first pitch and smashed a grand slam over the right field wall to pick up his team-leading fourth home run and game-high four RBI. Although it would not score again in the inning, UCSB would reload the bases after a Clark single, Patrick Rose walk and an Austin Hogans pinch-hit single to left field.
Down 13-2 headed into the ninth inning, TCU managed to push one run across in the top of the ninth to run the final score to 13-3. After a leadoff walk and a wild pitch put a runner at second for the Horned Frogs, Aspegren managed to strike out the next two TCU hitters. Back-to-back singles by Huffman and Conlon scored the lone run of the inning for TCU. The Horned Frogs managed to load the bases with two outs, but a diving catch in foul territory by Shane Carlson ended the TCU ninth inning rally and sealed the UCSB victory.
UCSB and TCU will conclude this three-game series with a double-header starting at 11 a.m. Juniors Brian Tracy and Bryan Fleming are slated to be on the mound for the Gauchos.