Gauchos Drop Series Finale to San Jose State, 5-4

April 19, 2009

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Down by a run in the ninth, Brian Gump singled with one out and Eric Oliver, who already had a game-winning, walk-off hit in the weekend series was at the plate.

However, an odd circumstance prevented the UC Santa Barbara baseball team from another walk-off win on Sunday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

With Gump going on a two-strike pitch, Oliver swung and missed on a ball in the dirt. The senior first baseman took a step toward first base before catcher Bryson Rahier tagged him. That left Oliver, though, in Rahier's path to throw to second in an attempt to get Gump. Home plate umpire Rick Wilson called Gump out on batter's interference and the Gauchos were suddenly saddled with a 5-4 loss.

It is the first time UCSB has lost consecutive games this season since March 29 and 31 defeats to Cal State Northridge and San Diego State. The Gauchos also dropped their first series since the March 27 series at Northridge.

Mario Hollands allowed five runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings and departed with his team behind, 5-1. But Mike Ford, making his second relief appearance of the week, followed with 3.1 perfect innings, allowing UCSB to stage a comeback.

With one out in the seventh inning, Steve Cook and Gunnar Terhune had consecutive singles and moved to second and third on right fielder Tommy Gale's throwing error. Brian Gump then ripped a single through the right side, scoring both, and making it 5-3. Gump's single extended his hitting streak to 11 games, a season-high for the Gauchos.

In the eighth, Ryan Cavan walked and went to second on a wild pitch. He moved to third on Matt Valaika's single, one of three hits for the junior second baseman on the day. Marty Mullins' sacrifice fly brought in Cavan and made it a one-run game.

The Spartans (26-11) tried to add an insurance run in the ninth. Anthony Aguilera was hit by a pitch, was sacrificed to second and went to third on a groundout. Ford then overthrew Mullins on a pitch, but the catcher scrambled to the backstop and threw Aguilera out, with Ford covering home, as the Spartans' catcher tried to score.

UCSB will play at Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday and then return home to host Cal Poly in a three-game series starting April 24. That Friday is a Faculty Free Friday, where all UCSB faculty and staff receive free admission by showing their UCSB identification.

That weekend is also part of the All Gaucho Reunion where former Gaucho athletes will return to UCSB to take part in numerous ceremonies. Click herefor more information.

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.

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