May 5, 2001
Santa Barbara, Calif. -
When 25th-ranked UC Santa Barbara walloped Long Beach State 11-4 in Friday's Big West series opener, it was an aberration. The Gauchos and 49ers had played three previous games this season, and all were close, including a pair of one-run extra inning affairs.
In game two of the series on Saturday, things returned to normal as UCSB fell behind 3-0 in the first inning and then battled back to earn a 5-4 win.
Long Beach shortstop Bobby Crosby was walked to open the game by UCSB starter Rylie Ogle. The second batter, first baseman Jeremy Reed, hit a sharp grounder to Gaucho second baseman Chad Peshke. What looked like a possible double play ball caromed off of Peshke's glove and into center field. Crosby stopped at second. Following a strikeout by center fielder Jeff Jones, 49er catcher Bryan Kennedy slugged a double to deep center field, scoring both runners. A single by right fielder Paul Macaluso moved Kennedy to third and then a single by third baseman Todd Jennings scored him, making it 3-0.
Ogle would work his way in and out of trouble all day, he would not, however, allow another run. He wound up going six innings, allowing nine hits, a pair of walks and just two earned runs.
Offensively, the Gauchos did not have an easy time of it. Long Beach starter Nate Beucler kept them off balanced much of the time and his control was outstanding.
UCSB scored its first run in the third inning. Catcher Donovan Warrecker led off with a single and went to third on a Ryan Spilborghs single. The base hit by Spilborghs extended his school-record hitting streak to 25 games. Center fielder Skip Schumaker brought Warrecker home on a groundout to first base.
Santa Barbara added its second run in the fifth and again Spilborghs and Schumaker were in the thick of things. With two outs, Spilborghs lined a single to left field. He was picked off of first base by Beucler, but he slid safely into second base when the relay popped out of the shortstop's glove. Spilborghs was immediately cashed by Schumaker who lined a single through the left side. Schumaker also stole second, but was stranded there.
Jeremy Sugarman replaced Ogle to open the seventh inning and Macaluso immediately lined a single off the relievers ankle. Peshke took the carom and tried to get Macaluso at first, but it was too late. Pinch hitter Chris Wright lined out the center field for the first out of the inning. Macaluso stole second and then another pinch hitter, Edgar Varela, grounded out to third base with Macaluso holding at second. A third pinch hitter, Mike Hofius, bounced a bad-hop single off the glove of first baseman Tyler Von Schell, scoring Macaluso to make 4-2 Long Beach State.
In the bottom of the seventh, UCSB went to work. Jed Stringham led off with a single and after a flyout by Warrecker, Spilborghs collected his third hit of the game with Stringham stopping at second. Beucler was replaced by Jeff Cruz. Cruz was greeted by Schumaker, who immediately lined a single up the middle, scoring Stringham, moving Spilborghs to third and narrowing the gap to 4-3. Cruz was immediately yanked in favor of Chris Demaria. Demaria walked pinch hitter David Licht to load the bases and then Peshke to force in the tying run. Third baseman Dave Molidor broke the tie with a sacrifice fly to score Schumaker, making it 5-4 Gauchos.
Sugarman hurled a scoreless eighth inning and then Jamie Gonzales pitched a perfect ninth, striking out a pair to earn his seventh save of the year. Sugarman got the win and is now 3-1 on the season. Spilborghs finished the game 3-for-3 to improve his overall batting average to .387 and his Big West mark to .512 (21-of-41). Schumaker had a pair of hits and has now collected at least one in 43 of the team's 46 games. Long Beach State finished with 13 hits, but they stranded a dozen runners.
The victory improves UCSB to 35-11 overall and 9-2 in the Big West. Long Beach falls to three games back of the Gauchos with an overall record of 29-18 and a league record of 6-5. UCSB has now won seven games in a row and nine out of ten. The teams will play the final game of the three game series Sunday with another 1:00 p.m. game at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.