March 25, 2005
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Freshman second baseman Alden Carrithers went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored and senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson belted his 34th career home run as the UC Santa Barbara baseball team (13-11) rolled past Oral Roberts (13-8) 7-2 on Friday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Junior starting pitcher Michael Martin (3-1) won his second straight game, as the Gauchos have now won four straight.
Timely hitting was the key to Santa Barbara's success in Friday's affair. The Gauchos jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, junior first baseman Bill Rowe hit a two-RBI single up the middle.
The Gauchos added on three more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Wilkerson led off with a double that found the left center field gap. Designated hitter Jack Pinkerton promptly singled to right field, sending Wilkerson to third base. ORU starting pitcher Taylor McIntyre (2-5) would give up a free pass Rowe to load the bases and then walked senior left fielder Matt Stevens for the first Gaucho run of the inning. After the next to UCSB batters were retired, Carrithers hit a clutch two-run single up the middle, doubling his season RBI total.
The Gauchos added another run in the bottom of the fourth inning as Wilkerson went the opposite way and blasted his fifth home run of the season over the right field fence. Wilkerson is now tied with Jared Jankle for the no. 3 spot on the all-time Gaucho career home runs list with 34. The Orange County, Calif., native is now only three four-baggers shy of tying Jeff Antoon for the no. 2 slot.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Golden Eagles would strike back for two. Right fielder Kelly Minissale led of the inning with a single and was quickly moved over to third base as shortstop Michael Hollimon doubled down the right field line. They were both cashed in on Dennis Bigley's two-RBI single to left field.
The Gauchos would add one more in the bottom of the seventh inning, as Carrithers would hit a double and then later score on an error by Oral Roberts shortstop Hollimon.
Starter Michael Martin pitched 7.0 innings, gave up six hits, two earn runs and struck out four in his third victory of the 2005 campaign.
Junior reliever Nate Holguin pitched well out of the bullpen allowing only one hit in 2.0 innings of work.
Senior third baseman David Figoni had his hitting streak halted at 18 games as he went 0-for-4 in Friday's victory. With a walk in the bottom of the first inning, Figoni has now reached base in 19 straight games.
Oral Roberts starting pitcher Taylor McIntyre struggled with his control as he walked six Gaucho batters in defeat.
The Gauchos will have a shot at the series sweep as they host the Golden Eagles in the finale of the three-game set tomorrow at 1:00 pm at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.