April 9, 2009
DAVIS, Calif. - Joe Gardner rebounded from a shaky start last Friday by limiting UC Davis to just two runs in eight innings while striking out seven and Matt Valaika drove in three runs as the UC Santa Barbara baseball team defeated the Aggies, 8-3 on Thursday at Dobbins Baseball Complex.
UCSB improves to 18-9 overall and 4-3 in the Big West. UC Davis falls to 5-22, 0-4.
Gardner (5-0, 3.14 ERA) had allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits in six innings vs. Pacific last week, but was much more effective in the first game of the three-game series. Though he allowed 10 hits and walked three, the junior from Fremont, Calif. retired 13 Davis batters via groundout as the Aggies stranded 12 total runners on base.
Yet, until the offense awoke midway through the game, Gardner was in line for the loss.
Down 2-0 heading into the sixth inning, however, the Gauchos rallied for five runs and then cruised to victory. Eric Oliver hit a two-run double to left, driving in Brian Gump (who went 3-for-4 and scored two runs) and Gunnar Terhune (1-for-3, one run) before Valaika doubled home Oliver.
Oliver has now recorded 13 RBI over his past seven games and has 30 this season.
UC Davis stranded one runner in each of the first five innings and two more in the sixth as Gardner held the Aggies in check, before loading the bases on a walk and two singles in the eighth. However, he struck out centerfielder Daniel Cepin to end the threat.
UCSB and Davis resume the series on Friday at 2:30 p.m. Mario Hollands (3-2, 4.14) will start for the Gauchos.
The Gauchos, winners of four of their past five games, return home on Wednesday, April 15 vs. Cal State Bakersfield at 2 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Tickets to the game are just $1 as the Athletics Department is helping fans beat the Tax Man on Tax Day.
To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.
Getting to UCSB baseball games is easy! From Highway 217, veer right at Steck Circle onto Mesa Road, and take a left onto Stadium Road. Caesar Uyesaka Stadium is on your left, and you can park at Lot 30 which is right outside the stadium. There are two kiosks that accept cash and credit card to pay for parking. For more information on getting to UCSB, please click here.