March 26, 2005
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson went 2-for-3 with one home run and three RBI as the UC Santa Barbara baseball team (14-11) completed its first series sweep of season by defeating Oral Roberts (13-9) 4-3 on Saturday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. With the win, the Gauchos have now won a season high five straight games heading into Monday's non-conference showdown with Cal Poly.
ORU jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as shortstop Michael Holliman hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score center fielder Tim Torres. Torres walked and then moved around to third base on a two-base throwing error by UCSB catcher Matt Kalafatis.
Oral Roberts' only lead of the series did not last long as UCSB tied the game in the bottom of the first inning. Freshman second baseman Alden Carrithers led off the inning with a single to right field and then moved into scoring position by swiping his third bag of the season. Wilkerson quickly tallied his 26th RBI with a single to right field.
Santa Barbara opened up a 4-1 lead, as it put across three runs in the bottom of the third inning. With two runners on, senior shortstop Chris Malec doubled just inside the right field line to score Carrithers but third baseman David Figoni, who reached on an error, was thrown at the plate by ORU second baseman Brian Hanson. Wilkerson extended the Gauchos lead as he hit his sixth home run of the season over the left center field fence.
Oral Roberts would chip away at UCSB's three-run lead as it scored one in the top of the fourth inning on a RBI single by first baseman Dennis Bigley.
The Golden Eagles would bring the game within one run in the sixth inning as Hanson singled in Travis DeBont, who led off the inning with a double to right center field.
UCSB senior relief pitcher Alex McRobbie entered the game with two outs in the eight inning and would end any hopes of an ORU comeback. McRobbie retired the games final four batters en route to his second save of the series. McRobbie is now 6-for-6 in save opportunities this season.
Santa Barbara starting pitcher Steve Morlock (3-4) recorded his second straight victory by hurling 5.0 innings, allowing two earned runs and three hits while striking out four.
Senior Loren Fraser looked solid on the mound tossing 2.2 scoreless innings of relief.
With his homer in the third inning, Wilkerson now has sole possession of the no. 3 slot on all-time UCSB career home runs list with 35. He needs two more to catch Jared Jankle who is currently second with 37 home runs.
UCSB returns to action this Monday as it travels up to Cal Poly for a one-game non-conference showdown. The Gauchos then return home on Friday, April 1 to begin a three-game set with Pacific to open up Big West Conference play.