May 4, 2003
Northridge, Calif. - After losing game one of Sunday's double-header and facing a possible shutout in game two, UC Santa Barbara (21-25, 4-11) roared back to win the game, 7-6, and win two-of-three on the road in Northridge, CA. Cal State Northridge (12-38, 6-9) had a 3-0 lead as late as the sixth inning, but couldn't hold off the surging Gaucho attack.
Northridge built its lead with three runs in the second inning off Gaucho starter Michael Martin. Rudy Simpson led off the inning with a solo blast to left-center field. After a walk to Mark McCauley, Luke Riordan smashed a double to bring in a second run. Martin then sent a couple of pitches to the backstop, bringing Riordan home.
Matador starter Loe Rosales held the Santa Barbara batters in check until the sixth inning. With two outs, Greg Powers doubled, moving Chad Ziemendorf, who had walked to lead off the inning, to third base. Nic Rodriguez followed with a clutch single up the middle, bringing in the two runners and cutting into the three run defecit.
CSUN was able to respond with a solo run in the bottom of the inning with a sacrifice fly by Quinn Ciccarelli. Michael Paulk, who had earlier doubled, scored on the play.
The Gauchos powered up in the seventh to even the score at four all. For the second time in the game, UCSB received a clutch two-out hit to put runs on the board. Chad Ziemendorf crushed a Rosales offering deep over the wall in left field, bringing in Matt Emerick as well.
Ziemendorf's smash marked the third for the three game series, one coming in each game. The Gaucho catcher now owns the team lead with five on the season.
UCSB relief pitcher Ivan Ramirez wasn't able to keep the Matadors from reclaiming the lead. He allowed a solo home run to Aaron McKenzie, the first batter to step up in the bottom of the seventh. McCauley later followed with an RBI single to give Northridge a 6-4 lead.
Showing that they still had some fight left, the Gauchos answered quickly against Rosales and CSUN's top reliever, Scott Robertson. Nate Sutton and Powers reached base to lead off the eighth inning against Rosales. Robertson came in to quelch the rally, but after retiring the next two batter, found out just how relentless Santa Barbara is.
Bill Rowe blooped a pitch right in between the shortstop and center fielder, sending Sutton scampering home. Matt Wilkerson, 1-for-11 in the series, laced a line drive into the gap in right-center, scoring Sutton from third. Rowe came motoring around from first base. A play at the plate was averted when the relay throw was dropped by the Matador second baseman. Wilkerson's double gave the Gauchos the lead at 7-6.
Steve Morlock was given the job of shutting down CSUN for the final two innings. The freshman right-hander got himself into a quick jam, but was able to get out of it just as quickly. Allowing a one-out single to Drew Aguailar, Morlock then uncorked two pitches in the dirt, sending Aguailar to third. After walking the next batter, Morlock struck out Brett Cayton and got Simpson to fly out to right field, ending the inning. The ninth was less dramatic, as the Matadors were able to produce only a single, but stranded the runner at first to end the game.
Eric Posthumus (3-3) earned the victory with two-thirds of an inning pitched in the sixth. Morlock picked up his eighth save of the season, second in the Big West Conference. Robertson (4-4) picked up the loss after surrendering one run in two innings of work.
Sutton, Powers and Rowe each collected two hits for the Gauchos. Powers and Ziemendorf scored twice.
McCauley led all Matador hitters with three hits. He scored once and collected an RBI. McKenzie and Simpson each had two hits.
All seven of the Gaucho runs were scored with two outs.
UCSB took five out of the six games these two teams played this season. Earlier in the year, the Gauchos swept the Matadors in three games played in Santa Barbara.
The two games played in the double-header lasted a combined six hours and twenty-three minutes.
UC Santa Barbara heads south to face UCLA in Westwood for a one-game matchup on Tuesday, May 6 at 6:00 pm. The Gauchos then return home to host the University of Pacific for a three game Big West Conference matchup. The first game is slated for a 2:00 pm start time at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Games two and three are to be held on Saturday and Sunday, both with 1:00 pm start times.