April 25, 2003
Santa Barbara, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara erased an early 4-0 lead by Long Beach State, defeating the 49ers in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the ninth inning, 6-5. UCSB chipped away at the 49ers lead throughout the contest, scoring in four different innings including a two-run ninth highlighted by a walk-off fielder's choice by first baseman Josh McCanne.
Bill Rowe singled up the middle to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning. Pinch runner Matt Emerick then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Matt Stevens. After a Nate Sutton walk, designated hitter Nic Rodriguez singled to center, scoring Emerick from second and advancing Sutton to third. With runners at the corners, McCanne grounded to Long Beach shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, setting up the double play, however second baseman Chuck Sindlinger's throw to first base went wide allowing McCanne to reach base safely and permitting Sutton to score the game winning run.
Long Beach State took an early 4-0 advantage in the top of the first inning on an RBI double by Tulowitzki, and a three-run homer by left fielder John Bowker.
UCSB responded with one run in the bottom of the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Blair Havens. The Gauchos added a couple more runs in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI double by Chris Malec and an RBI single by Havens, pulling UCSB within one run.
McCanne singled, advanced to second on a errant throw by Sindlinger, and scored on an RBI single by catcher Chad Ziemendorf, evening the score in the bottom of the sixth inning, 4-4.
Starting pitcher Matt Vasquez continued to cruise, shutting LBSU down after allowing four runs in the opening inning. However, the 49ers rallied for one run in the top of the ninth inning, after a ground ball by Todd Jennings went under the glove of Sutton at third base.
"I could not be more proud of how we responded today," commented head coach Bob Brontsema on the Gauchos come from behind victory.
Ivan Ramirez earned his third victory of the season after relieving Vasquez with two outs in the ninth inning. Vasquez earned the no-decision but looked dominant striking out eight and holding the 49ers to just one run after the first inning.
Long Beach reliever Carlos Muniz was credited with the loss.
McCanne led the offensive attack for the Gauchos, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Havens also chipped in with two RBI for UCSB.
UCSB returns to action tomorrow against LBSU for the second game of this three-game series at 1:00 p.m. The Gauchos send freshman Michael Martin to the mound, Long Beach counters with eight game winner Jered Weaver.