UCSB Falls to No. 4 Cal State Fullerton, 5-3
May 5, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
UCSB (19-22, 5-8) hung with No. 4 Cal State Fullerton (34-11, 11-2) virtually blow-for-blow throughout the game, but a costly error and a bad hop in the fifth inning resulted in a 5-3 victory for the Titans over the Gauchos on Friday in game one of a three-game conference series at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Junior Mario Lewis led the Gauchos offensively, batting one-for-two with a clutch two RBI single and a run scored on the day. Sophomore Alden Carrithers and senior Matt Emerick batted .500 on the day as well, finishing two-for-four with an RBI and two-for-four with a run scored, respectively.
Gaucho starter Andy Graham lasted six innings, surrendering five runs (two earned) on eight hits and two walks while striking out four to earn the loss. Freshman Matt Wade dealt two and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief, giving up a single hit and striking out two. Junior Justin Segal finished the game for the Gauchos, retiring the first batter he faced.
Sophomore Jared Clark paced the Titans offensively, finishing two-for-four with a home run, a double, a run scored and three RBI. Fullerton starter Wes Roemer lasted eight and two-thirds innings, surrendering three runs on seven hits while striking out two. Roemer also walked a batter, his fourth of the season, and set a new CSF season record for hits batsmen (19) when he hit Lewis twice.
After Graham worked out of a one-out runners at second and third jam in the first, Fullerton got on the board in a big way in the second. Clark led off the inning with a towering drive over the wall in left centerfield to give the Titans the early 1-0 advantage.
The Titans were back at it again in the fifth, posting three runs on two hits and an error. After two quick outs to start the inning, a throwing error by shortstop Chris Valaika jumpstarted the Titan offense. After a stolen base, Graham walked Brett Pill to put runners at first and second. On the ensuing play, Danny Dorn hit a ground ball toward Carrithers at second that took a high hop and skipped over the second baseman's head to plate a run and put runners at first and third. Clark really took advantage of the extra out in the inning when he belted a double into the left centerfield gap to plate both runners and give Fullerton the 4-0 advantage.
UCSB would answer back with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to cut the deficit to 4-2. After a leadoff single by Emerick and a walk to Matt Clark put runners at first and second, Shane Carlson put down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up ninety feet. On the ensuing play, Lewis came up clutch with a two RBI single to centerfield.
Fullerton wasted no time getting a run back, plating one in the top of the sixth. After a leadoff strikeout, Evan McArthur doubled down the left field line before a John Curtis single scored him on the very next play.
The Gauchos would plate their final run in the bottom of the seventh to run the score to its eventual final of 5-3. Following two quick outs, Lewis got things started when he was hit by a Roemer fastball. After a stolen base put Lewis at second, freshman Chris McMurray singled to shortstop to put runners at the corners. On the ensuing play, Carrithers singled home Lewis to plate the third and final Gaucho run of the game.
After hitting Lewis for a second time with two outs in the ninth, Roemer gave way to Titan closer Vinnie Pestano, who promptly struck out pinch-hitter Clayton Shank to earn his thirteenth save of the year.
The Gauchos and Titans will continue their three-game series tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Left-hander Jeff Braun is slated to be on the mound for the Gauchos. The UCSB marketing staff will be in full force, giving away t-shirts, coupons and more, so come out and support UCSB baseball.