April 2, 2003
Santa Barbara, Calif. - Not even a little rain, or visiting Westmont, could slow down a surging Gaucho baseball team on Wednesday. After taking batting practice through a slight shower, Santa Barbara pounded out nine runs on 12 hits in the first five innings to take a lead they would not relinquish. Left-fielder Matt Stevens opened up the day with a double down the left-field line. He later scored on a two-out single by first-baseman Josh McCanne to give UCSB the 1-0 lead.
McCanne wasn't finished hitting when he came up in the 3rd inning. After a two-out double by Matt Wilkerson, McCanne crushed a ball well over the safety netting in left field. The senior, making his second start since returning from injury, finished the game 2-for-5 with three RBI. Since his return, he is 5-for-9 with seven RBI and three runs scored.
The Gauchos scored three times in both the 4th and 5th innings to close out their run totals. Westmont pitcher Marcus Gillette hit the first two batters to open up the 4th. An infield single by Matt Emerick loaded up the bases for Josh Fulton. The Gaucho shortstop singled to bring in Chris Malec. After Fulton took too big of a turn rounding first, the throw behind him initiated a rundown. Fulton lasted long enough on the base path to allow Chad Ziemendorf to score as well. A sacrifice fly by Stevens brought home Emerick.
The Gauchos loaded the bases up as well in the next inning. Emerick again came through, this time doubling in the gap to clear the bases and giving the Gauchos a 9-0 lead. Emerick ended the day 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored.
Santa Barbara starter Rich Sorenson earned his second victory on the season after making his first start. The junior transfer improved to 2-0 on the season after completely dominating the Westmont hitters for three innings. He left after giving up only one hit and striking out three batters.
Westmont was able to punch through for five runs in the top of the sixth inning. Relief pitcher Mike Sutherland struggled through a tough outing, giving up eight hits in two innings of work. The first batter he faced reached on an error after Malec had a tough time battling the wind to catch a pop-up. Following an infield single, Andrew Bowman crushed a pitch over the fence in left to drive in three. The Malec error would become important later in the inning when four straight two-out singles plated two more for the Warriors.
Westmont could do no more damage, and even though the Gauchos couldn't provide any more help, the 9-5 lead was enough for Alex McRobbie and Jared Edrosolan to close out. Justin Segal also provided two innings of no-hit ball after relieving Sorenson.
After sweeping Cal State Northridge last weekend, the Gauchos now ride a four game winning streak heading into conference play. The Big West season starts on Friday when the Gauchos host UC Irvine at 2:00 pm at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.