April 17, 2009

Oliver's Single Makes Gauchos Walk-Off Winners

April 17, 2009

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Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Two pitches before Eric Oliver looped a single into right field, he was hit with a pitch. Both he and UC Santa Barbara baseball coach Bob Brontsema complained to home plate umpire Mike Ostini that Oliver should be given first base.

However, Ostini ruled that Oliver did not get out of the way of San Jose State's Luke Mazzanti's pitch, leaving the Gaucho first baseman at the plate with two on and one out in the 11th inning.

Aren't the Gauchos glad now with Ostini's ruling?

Oliver sent a looping single into right field, scoring Ryan Tregoning from second base and giving UCSB a 7-6, walk-off victory over San Jose State on Friday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

The Gauchos (21-10) trailed the Spartans (24-11) 3-0 and had managed just one hit through five innings against SJSU starter David Berner. However, they struck for four runs in the sixth inning, thanks to a pair of errors and a sacrifice fly in foul ground.

After Matt Valaika's double down the left field line scored two and brought the Gauchos within a run at 3-2, Marty Mullins was hit by a pitch. Ryan Cavan hit what could have been a double play ball to shortstop, but the flip got away from second baseman Karson Klauer, loading the bases.

Steve Cook then lofted a pop fly into foul ground behind first base, where Klauer caught the ball with his momentum carrying him down the right field line. Valaika scored to tie the game with Mullins and Cavan each advancing 90 feet. Shane Carlson then reached on an error, scoring Mullins for a 4-3 lead.

But SJSU scored once in the eighth and twice in the ninth, needing three more outs to secure a victory.

However Mazzanti issued consecutive one-out walks to Mark Haddow and Tregoning before Brian Gump's single to right field scored a run. After an out, Valaika sent a grounder up the middle that could have been the end of the game, but the ball went right through Klauer's legs, allowing UCSB to tie the score and force extra innings.

David Meals (2-1) pitched two scoreless frames, the 10th and 11th, allowing two hits and striking out two. That gave the Gauchos a chance. Tregoning was hit by a pitch and Gump walked, both with one out. Then, Oliver's single, capped the game, and gave the first baseman a team-high 33 RBI.

Joe Gardner had a quality start, allowing three runs on six hits in six innings, striking out six. The Gauchos are now 8-1 in games the Fremont, Calif. native starts. Gardner did walk four and hit four others, but continually pitched out of the jams, keeping the Gauchos close enough for them to pull out the victory.

The Gauchos and Spartans continue their weekend series on Saturday and Sunday with both games at 1 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

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, please click here.