UCSB Tops ORU In Series Opener, 6-4

March 24, 2005

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Senior shortstop Chris Malec went 2-for-4, launched his third home run and tallied three RBI as the UC Santa Barbara baseball team (12-11) defeated Oral Roberts (13-7) 6-4 on Thursday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The win was UCSB's third staight while the loss ended ORU's six-game winning streak. Sophomore starting pitcher Andy Graham (4-1) earned his fourth victory of the season by going 6.2 innings and allowing only four earned runs. Senior third baseman David Figoni extended his hitting streak to 18 games as he collected two hits in the series opener against ORU.

Santa Barbara got on the board first by putting two runs across in the bottom of the third inning against 2004 All-American Dennis Bigley (4-1). Left fielder C.J. Cook began the rally with an one out single to right field. Freshman second baseman Alden Carrithers followed with his own single to right field. Third baseman Figoni made it three hits in a row as he doubled off the glove of Oral Roberts' first baseman Rene Recio. Cook would come around to score on the play. Malec then picked up Carrithers with an RBI groundout to the second baseman.

The Golden Eagles would strike back for one run in the top of the fifth inning. Center fielder Tim Torres would lead off the inning with a double and then advance to third on a wild pitch. He would complete his trip around the diamond as he came home on a RBI single by left fielder Ricky Rivera.

The Gauchos would get the run back as they would score one in the bottom of the fifth. Once again Cook began the rally with a single to center field. Carrithers would move Cook to third with a single to left field. Malec would drive in his second runner of the afternoon with a single to right field.

ORU again brought the game within one run, as it would score one in the top of the sixth inning. Shortstop Michael Hollimon would lead off the inning with a walk and then steal second. Second baseman Brian Hanson cashed in Hollimon with his RBI single to center field.

The Gauchos did not wait long to increase their lead on the Golden Eagles. In the bottom of the sixth, UCSB added two more runs by putting together three straight hits. Junior first baseman Bill Rowe began the hit parade with a double to left center field. Junior center fielder Matt Emerick followed with a RBI single to center field. Emerick then advanced to third on a two base throwing error by ORU pitcher Bigley. Senior catcher Matt Kalafatis drove in the second Gaucho run of the inning with his single to center field, making the score 5-2.

Oral Roberts would again bring the game to a one run affair, as they put across two of their own in the top of the seventh inning. With two outs, Hollimon drove a two-run double just out of the reach of UCSB center fielder Emerick.

That would be as close the Golden Eagles would get because in the bottom of the seventh inning, Malec hammered his third home run of the season over the right field fence.

Sophomore starter Andy Graham won his fourth ball game of the year by tossing 6.2 innings, giving up four earned runs and seven hits while striking out three.

Figoni pushed his hitting streak to reach 18 games as he dropped in a bloop single in the bottom of the first inning. For the game, Figoni would go 2-for-4 with one RBI.

Relief pitcher Alex McRobbie earned his sixth save of the season by turning the lights out on ORU in the bottom of the ninth inning. McRobbie struck out two of the three batters he would face.

ORU All-American starting pitcher Dennis Bigley dropped his first game of the 2005 campaign. The loss kept Bigley becoming both Oral Roberts University and the Mid-Continent Conference's all-time wins leader. It was his first loss since March 16, 2004, a span of 16 starts.

UCSB continues its series with Oral Roberts tomorrow at 2:00 pm at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The final game of the three-game set is scheduled for a 1:00 pm first pitch on Saturday afternoon.