April 3, 2009

Oliver's 5 RBI Leads Gauchos Past Pacific

April 3, 2009

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Eric Oliver already had an eight-RBI game to his credit this season, so a five-RBI game shouldn't come as a surprise to UC Santa Barbara's first baseman. The thing is, the Gauchos needed every one of Oliver's five-RBI day as they held on for a 9-8 win over Pacific on Friday.

Blustery winds at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium helped Oliver, although neither his two-run triple in the first inning or his three-run home run in the second inning weren't hit hard. His triple was to dead center field, bouncing off the fence and his home run - his fourth of the season - was crushed to right field.

Oliver finished 2-for-4, his ninth multi-hit game of the season, and now has 18 RBI and nine extra-base hits in his past nine games. In that stretch the Irvine, Calif. native is hitting .395 (15-for-38).

Oliver led a 14-hit attack on Friday as the Gauchos won their Big West home opener. UCSB improves to 16-8 overall and 2-2 in the Big West. Pacific falls to 10-14, 3-1.

Joe Gardner allowed seven runs (six earned) in six innings, striking out two and walking five. However because of Oliver's help, the right-hander improved to 4-0 this season. David Meals allowed one run over the final three innings to earn his team-high fourth save.

Joining Oliver in the hit parade were Gunnar Terhune and Brian Gump with three hits apiece and Steve Cook added two hits as all but one UCSB starter had at least one hit.

Terhune extended his hitting streak to seven games as the junior is now hitting .435 (20-for-46) over his past 11 games. In that span Terhune has driven in nine runs while scoring 10 more.

Gump, meanwhile, recorded a hit in a game for the ninth time in his past 10 games.

Ahead 7-0 after the second inning, Gardner allowed five runs in the fourth, the big blast coming on Nick Longmire's grand slam to dead center. Then, in the fifth, Pacific tied it on an error and Mike Walker's double.

But, the Gauchos regained the lead in the fifth when Mark Haddow doubled in Terhune and added an insurance run in the sixth when Cook scored on a bases-loaded double play.

It was needed because Brian Martin homered with one out in the ninth, however after a walk, Meals got Walker to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play.

The Gauchos host the Tigers again on Saturday and Sunday, with both games at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium and each beginning at 1 p.m.

Cinco Packs are now available for baseball and softball with a mix-and-match option that allows fans to choose five games between either sport for one low price. And, with a purchase of a Cinco Pack, fans will receive a free Baseball Bingo! card for each baseball game they attend, giving them a chance to win a premier giveaway.

Single-game tickets and Cinco Packs are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB, by coming to the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or by clicking here.