May 1, 2004
LONG BEACH, Calif. - For the second straight day, the UC Santa Barbara baseball team fought back after trailing early and defeated No. 4 Long Beach State 6-2 Saturday in game two of this weekend's three game Big West Conference series. Freshman Chris Valaika delivered a two-out, two-RBI double off the center field wall to score the go-ahead run for UCSB in the seventh.
The Gauchos have now won three straight, including last Sunday's 14-7 win over then No. 30 Cal State Fullerton and last night's dramatic 8-4 victory over the same Long Beach State Dirtbags. UCSB is now 26-17 and 4-7 in conference play. The Beach drops to 30-11 and 9-2 in the Big West.
Freshman right-hander Andy Graham (3-4) picked up the win for the Gauchos, tossing a strong six innings, allowing just one earned run. He allowed four hits while striking out one. Junior Loren Fraser increased his scoreless 7.2 innings with three innings of nearly perfect relief work. The right-hander allowed just one hit while picking up his first save of the season.
UCSB trailed early as Long Beach shortstop Troy Tulowitzki blasted his second home run of the year off of Graham in the second. The Beach scored again in the fourth but the Gauchos rallied for six unanswered runs over the games final four innings.
In the seventh, David Figoni delivered a two-out bloop single to tie the game before Valaika delivered the eventual game-winning double two batters later. Bill Rowe and Matt Kalafatis also collected RBI for the Gauchos in the win.
The two victories over the Dirtbags mark the first such occurance for UCSB since 2001 when the Gauchos took four of five from the Beach including three straight. In 2000, Santa Barbara swept Long Beach over three games at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
UCSB has scored 13 of its 14 runs this weekend with two outs.
Southpaw Cesar Ramos (8-3) lasted 6.2 innings for Long Beach State while suffering the loss.
The teams face off on Sunday at 1 p.m. for the finale of the three game series.