April 12, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - There was only one way for Cal State Northridge to erase all the good vibes coming from UC Santa Barbara's side of the field on Tuesday.
In a spot start, Zak Edgington was brilliant and UCSB was one strike away from winning its third in a row and fourth in five games.
Unfortunately for the Gauchos, the Matadors found that lone way.
Tommy Simis hit a blooper on an 0-2 pitch into right field, that landed just in front of a diving Mark Haddow, allowing two runs to score in a walk-off 3-2 win by CSUN at Matador Field.
It had appeared all game long that Santa Barbara was well on its way to a victory, especially with how Edgington pitched.
Forced into his first start as a Gaucho because Nick Loredo suffered a broken jaw last weekend, Edgington was masterful. The junior left-hander pitched eight efficient innings, allowing just four hits while striking out three, tossing an economical 85 pitches.
He mowed through CSUN's lineup facing just three over the minimum through the first seven innings. However, he seemed to tire as he had pitched only eight total innings entering the game and CSUN broke through with a run in the eighth inning.
Tommy Simis reached on a bad-hop single that was destined for an out as it was hit right at second baseman Sean Williams, but bounded off his right shoulder at the last instant. A hit batter and a sac bunt put runners on second and third with one out before Edginton got Ridge Carpenter to hit a sacrifice fly and Nate Ring to bounce back to the box.
That cut UCSB's lead to 2-1.
Edgington went out to open the ninth inning, but walked Drew Muren on four pitches and was pulled for Bryce Uhrig. A sac bunt and a fly out put Muren on second base with two outs and the Gauchos looked like they were on their way to a win.
However, Uhrig hit pinch-hitter Adam Barry with a pitch and then Simis hit his hard-luck blooper into right field to end the game.
After the second inning, UCSB managed just two hits and five total baserunners the rest of the game.
It seemed, though, that it would be enough for Edgington. The lefty from Belmont, Calif. was trying to toss the Gauchos' second complete-game of the season, but came up just short. Unfortunately, so did his team.
UCSB travels to No. 7 Cal State Fullerton for a three-game series beginning on Friday night. All three games will be aired live on AM 1290 and online by clicking here