April 20, 2007
Santa Barbara, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara baseball team had its season-long four-game win streak halted Friday as No. 18 UC Irvine defeated the Gauchos 10-5 in Big West Conference action at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The Anteaters came from behind three times to pick up the victory.
The loss dropped UCSB to 16-19 overall and 4-3 in the Big West. UC Irvine, which won its second straight, improved to 27-10-1 and 6-4.
The Anteaters broke the game open with five runs in the sixth inning. Down 5-4, Jeff Cusick led off with a single to center off of UCSB starter Chuck Huggins. Following a sacrifice bunt by Ollie Linton, Cusick crossed the plate on a single by Aaron Lowenstein, knotting the game at 5-5. Matt Wade came on in relief of Huggins and Lowenstein, after stealing second base, scored the eventual game-winning run when Tyler Vaughn singled to left field. Wade got the next batter to fly out, but Ben Orloff smacked a two-out RBI double to left-center, giving UCI a 7-5 lead. The Gauchos brought in Brian Tracy to replace Wade and Cody Cipriano blasted a two-run homerun to deep right-center, putting the Anteaters up 9-5.
UCSB jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning as first baseman Robbie Blauer homered down the right field line, his fourth round-tripper of the season. Irvine came right back in the top of the second as Matt Morris had a leadoff single and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Linton hit a ball that carried to deep center. Chris Fox made the catch while back-pedaling, but the speedy Morris was able to tag up and score from second base.
The Gauchos hung a three-spot on the board in the fourth to go up 4-1. With one out, Blauer walked and left fielder Mike Zuanich followed with a single to center. Designated hitter Cody Dee then connected with a Scott Gorgen offering that just cleared the right field wall on a line, his second homer of the season.
The Anteaters returned the favor, scoring three runs in their half of the fifth inning. Vaughn was issued a leadoff walk and stole second. He scored on a one-out double down the left field line by Orloff. After Cipriano grounded out, Morris hit a two-run homer to right, tying the game at 4-4.
In the bottom of the fifth, UCSB took the lead yet again. With two outs, Fox singled and then scored on a double down the right field line by third baseman Patrick Rose.
UC Irvine added its 10th run of the game in the ninth inning as Cipriano, who doubled and went to third on a groundout, scored on a botched pickoff attempt to first base.
Six different Gauchos had hits in the game. Huggins, who suffered his first loss of the year (5-1), gave up six runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and two walks in 5.1 innings.
Gorgen went eight innings and improved to 7-2 on the year. After settling down in the sixth, he surrendered just one hit and one walk the rest of the way. He struck out nine in the game, six of those coming in his final three innings of work. Eric Pettis threw a scoreless ninth to finish the game.
Cipriano went 3-for-5 with two doubles and the homerun as the Anteaters banged out 11 hits. Cusick, Morris, and Orloff all had two hits apiece.
The two squads play the second game of the three-game series Saturday at 1 p.m.