Ninth Inning Heroics Push UCSB Past Pacific, 7-6
April 2, 2005
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson scored the final run of a three-run ninth inning as the UC Santa Barbara baseball team (15-13, 1-1) came from behind to defeat Pacific (13-16, 1-1) 7-6 on Saturday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Junior first baseman Bill Rowe singled with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, scoring senior shortstop Chris Malec to tie the game and with a throwing error by the Pacific left fielder Wilkerson crossed the plate, giving the Gauchos their first Big West Conference victory in dramatic fashion.
The Gauchos took an early 1-0 lead as designated hitter Matt Aidem hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score freshman second baseman Alden Carrithers, who led off the game with a double over the head of Pacific left fielder Will Brindza.
The Tigers would come back and score the next six runs of the ball game. Pacific scored two runs in the top of the fourth inning as first baseman Brett Manning hit a two-RBI single to left field. The Tigers tacked on four more in the top of the sixth inning with the help of Ramon Glasgow's two-RBI double down the left field line.
The Gauchos would not stay down by five runs for very long as they would capitalize on ineffective pitching by the Tigers and score three runs in the bottom of the sixth off one hit, three walks and two hit batters to make the score 6-4.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Santa Barbara completed its five-run come from behind victory by scoring the game's final three runs off Pacific closer Josh Schmidt (4-2). Carrithers began the inning with a walk. Malec singled and Wilkerson was hit by a pitch to load the bases for the Gauchos. Aidem flew out to the center field, but Carrithers came around score on an errant throw by Pacific's Glasgow. Rowe stepped to the plate with two outs and hit a clutch single left field to cash in Malec. Wilkerson came around to score the winning run as Pacific left fielder Jake Ross, who was inserted for defensive purposes, misfired and overthrew his third baseman.
Relief pitcher Loren Fraser (2-2), who threw one pitch in the top of the ninth inning, was credited with his second victory of the season. Junior starting pitcher Steve Morlock tossed 5.2 innings and allowed five hits and six runs (five earned). Sophomore reliever Justin Segal hurled 3.0 scoreless innings out the bullpen.
UOP closer Schmidt picked-up the loss by letting the Gauchos score three in the final inning.
UCSB returns to action tomorrow as it completes the three-game set against Pacific. The first pitch is slated for 1:00 pm.