UCSB Rolls Into Spring Break With 12-1 Victory Over Cornell

March 21, 2004

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Sophomore right-hander Michael Martin improved to a perfect 6-0 as the UC Santa Barbara baseball team dismantled Cornell 12-1 Sunday afternoon in game one of this week's five game non-conference series. UCSB pounded out fifteen hits while improving their record to 12-10. The win also levels the Gauchos' home record to 6-6, bringing them to an even record at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium for the first time since February 17.

Martin tied his longest outing of the year with another strong 7.1 innings, while scattering 11 hits and allowing just one run in the eighth inning. Martin walked two and struck out two as he solidified his role as the Gauchos' ace on the mound.

Offensively for UCSB, junior second baseman Chris Malec and left fielder Bill Rowe each went yard while four other Gauchos collected two hits apiece. Right-fielder Matt Wilkerson showed signs of improvement at the plate, going 2-for-2 with an RBI sacrifice fly and a stolen base. Malec, shortstop Chris Valaika and catcher Matt Kalafatis all doubled in the victory.

The Gauchos got going early as they touched Big Red starter, and eventual loser, Rocky Collis (1-2) for four runs in the first and five in the second. In the first, senior third baseman Nate Sutton and first baseman Greg Powers led off with singles before Malec delivered an RBI double to center, scoring the Gauchos' first run. A batter later, catcher Taylor Vogt grounded out to second to score Powers with the last run UCSB would need. Wilkerson's RBI fly-out and Matt Emerick's RBI single later in the inning rounded out the four-run frame.

Malec stepped up again in the second with nobody on and one out and belted his first home run of the year and just his secondsince February 15, 2003 against San Jose State. It was on that swing over a year ago that Malec twisted his knee, resulting a month-long injury to the 2002 Freshman All-American.

After Vogt and Wilkerson each reached base after Malec's round-tripper, Rowe, making his second start of the year in left field, drilled a Collis fastball deep over the center field wall for a three-run shot, his third of the year. Kalafatis picked up his first of two RBI later in the inning as he singled in Valaika from third.

A trio of Big Red hurlers combined to toss the games' final seven innings in relief of Collis, while allowing just three more UCSB runs on three hits. The Cornell bullpen held the Gauchos to just one hit from the seventh to the ninth inning.

For the Gauchos, junior right-hander Nate Holguin tossed the contest's final 1.2 innings in relief of Martin. He allowed two hits and struck out three in his elventh appearance of the year.

Malec finished his day 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI while Rowe finished 1-for-3 also with two runs and three RBI. Along with those two and Wilkerson, Powers, Valaika and Kalafatis also each collected two hits.

The two schools meet again Monday at 2 p.m at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Game Notes: Head Coach Bob Brontsema rearranged his defensive setup for today's game against Cornell. UCSB's usual starting first baseman Bill Rowe made his second career start in left field while the Gauchos' offensive leader and regular designated hitter Greg Powers started at first base. Anticipating the upcoming five-game week, Brontsema gave Taylor Vogt the day off from catching duties and slotted him as the designated hitter while Matt Kalafatis made his third start behind the plate.