March 28, 2002
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Cal State Northridge used a four-run fourth and a six-run ninth to pull away from UC Santa Barbara 12-4, in the Big West Conference Baseball opener for both teams, Thursday afternoon at Caesar Uyeska Stadium.
The Gauchos, who were out hit by the Matadors 9-to-13, fall to 13-16 overall and 0-1 in Big West play. Cal State Northridge improves to 19-10 overall and 1-0 in Big West action.
Gaucho starter Matt Vasquez (Santa Barbara, Calif.) was roughed up for six runs, five earned, in seven and one-thirds innings of work. The sophomore also struck out six batters as he falls to 4-3 on the season.
Kameron Loe (2-0) gets the win for the Matadors, going six and two-thirds innings, holding the Gauchos to three runs on seven hits while striking out five. Scott Robertson pitched the final two innings to pick up his first save of the season.
The game was a pitchers duel going into the fourth with Northridge holding a 1-0 lead. However, Vasquez ran into trouble as six of the first seven Matadors hit singles to score four runs to take a 5-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Gaucho first baseman Josh McCanne (Mammoth, Calif.) tripled and scored second baseman Chris Malec (Laguna Niguel) to make it a 5-1 game. McCanne would score later in the inning on a sacfrice fly by third baseman Nate Sutton (Santa Cruz, Calif.), making it 5-2.
The Gauchos put another run on the board in the fifth when centerfielder Andy Campanella (Toluca Lake, Calif.) scored on a ground out by shortstop Dave Licht (Huntington Beach, Calif.) to make it a 5-3 game.
That would be as close as the Gauchos would get as Northridge would go on to score seven more runs in the game-to the Gauchos one, including six in the ninth, highlighted by Rudy Simpsons Grand Slam.
Left fielder Blair Havens (Los Alamitos Calif.) led the way for the Gauchos offensively, going 3-for-4 on the day. Licht and Malec also had two hits on the day for the Gauchos.
UCSB and CSUN return to action tomorrow at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium for the second game of the three-game series. Junior Bill Murphy (6-1, 2.86) will pitch for the Matadors and junior Sean Thompson (1-0, 4.56) will go for the Gauchos. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.