March 22, 2008
Santa Barbara, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara baseball team (14-7) took the three-game series from the Saint Mary's Gaels (13-7-1) by winning both games of Saturday's doubleheader, 11-4 and 6-0, at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The Gaucho bats supplied the power in game one, while their arms led the way in game two.
The Gauchos scored 11 times on 10 hits in an 11-4 win in game one of the doubleheader. UCSB struck early and often scoring one run in the first, six in the second, and one in the third.
Designated hitter Chris Fox manufactured his own run in the first, reaching on a walk in the second at-bat of the inning. Fox proceeded to steal second and third bases, scoring on an Eric Oliver sacrifice fly in the ensuing at-bat.
The Gauchos batted around in the second inning, scoring six runs to break the game open. John DeAlba and Patrick Rose led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Senior catcher Matt McColgan followed with a monster three-run homerun to deep left field, to put the Gauchos in front 4-0. It was McColgan's first long fly of the year. Consecutive singles from Brian Gump and Chris Fox put runners on first and third. A critical throwing error from Gael third baseman Michael Cipolla, allowed Gump and Fox to score. Oliver grounded a ball to third with two out, but Cipolla's throw was wide of first, allowing two runs to cross the plate, putting the Gauchos ahead 6-0. An RBI single off the bat of Mike Zuanich scored the final run of the second inning.
McColgan doubled in his fourth run of the game in the bottom of the third, putting the Gauchos in front 7-0.
The Gaels got on the board in the top of the fifth, courtesy of a two-run homerun from catcher Ian Gordon. Gordon sent a 2-1 Chuck Huggins offering over the left field wall, to cut the score to 8-2.
UCSB countered quickly scoring three times in the bottom half of the fifth, to extend their lead to 11-2. Steve Cook was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, to score the first run of the inning. That brought Gump to the plate, who doubled to right field, scoring McColgan and DeAlba.
Gaucho starter Chuck Huggins (4-1) earned the win in the game going 5.2 innings, allowing four runs on four hits, walking four and striking out four. Huggins' earned his fourth win on the season, good for first on the Gauchos starting staff.
Senior Mike Martin came on in relief of Huggins throwing 3.1 perfect innings, to earn his first save of the year. Martin allowed only one hit in the seventh, striking out three along the way.
McColgan paced the potent Gaucho attack going 2-for-3 with a double, homerun, two runs scored and four RBI. Gump went 2-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI. Fox stole three bases on the game in a 1-for-3 effort.
In game two of the doubleheader redshirt freshman Mario Hollands shutdown the Gaels through six innings, allowing no runs on five hits. Hollands six strikeouts gave him 28 on the year in 30.1 innings pitched. The El Cerrito, Calif., native lowered his ERA to a spectacular 2.08 with Saturday's gem.
Oliver's sac-fly in the third inning plated the first Gaucho run of the game. Zuanich followed suit, delivering a sac-fly of his own, giving UCSB a 2-0 lead.
Cook, a transfer from Santa Barbara City College, hit his first homerun in a Gaucho uniform to leadoff the fifth. Filling in for the injured Matt Valaika, Cook provided stellar defense at second base, making several difficult plays up the middle. On the ensuing at-bat Fox showed his superior bat control, reaching first on a perfectly placed bunt down the third base line. Zuanich drove in his second run of the game, and third on the day, with a double to right center. Zuanich would score later in the inning on a throwing error from Gael shortstop Daniel Alcaire.
An RBI single from Gump in the sixth provided the Gauchos their final run of the game.
Junior transfer Zach Samuels came on in the seventh to close things out, inducing two groundouts and striking out one.
Zuanich paved the way going 2-for-2 with one run scored, and two RBI. Gump went 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI.
After dropping game one of the series, the Gauchos stormed back winning both games of the doubleheader to take the series from the Gaels. UCSB resumes play on Tuesday, March 25 as they take on the Westmont Warriors at 2:00 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.