May 9, 2004
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara won its seventh straight Big West Conference game and completed a three-game sweep of Cal State Northridge Sunday afternoon with a 13-6 victory at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. UCSB scored 11 runs in the first inning while three Gaucho hurlers combined to hold the lead over the next eight frames.
Santa Barbara improves to 30-17 and 8-7 in the Big West as CSUN falls to 16-33 and 2-13 in conference play. With the victory, the Gauchos post their first 30-win season since 2001 and are over .500 in conference play for the first time since April 14, 2003.
First baseman Bill Rowe led the charge at the plate for UCSB, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBI. Rowe laced two doubles, tying a career high. The sophomore picked up three of his RBI in the first inning in two seperate at-bats. In his first trip to the plate, Rowe smashed a double to right-field scoring designated hitter Taylor Vogt and second baseman Chris Malec. Later in inning with the Gauchos already ahead 10-0, Rowe plated Vogt again with a single to right.
In the pivotal Gaucho first, Santa Barbara scored ten runs with two outs, highlighted by RBI base hits from six different batters. Along with Rowe, senior Greg Powers also picked up three RBI in the first after a RBI groundout and a two-RBI single to center. In all 16 Gauchos came to the plate in the first as UCSB pounded out eight hits.
Gaucho starting pitcher Steve Morlock, despite being staked to the 11-run lead, failed to escape the fifth inning after allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits. Junior Loren Fraser, the reigning Big West Pitcher of the Week, and southpaw Ivan Ramirez combined for five scorless innings out of the bullpen. Fraser (5-1) picked up the victory after allowing just two hits in three innings of work.
Luke Riordan and Raymond Ravago each tallied two RBI for the Matadors in the loss and Nathan Hochgesang tossed four innings of scoreless relief before giving up two runs in his fifth frame.
All but one Gaucho starter collected at least one hit and all but two knocked in an RBI.
Sutton stole his team-leading 26th base of the season in the Gaucho first.
The seven-game conference winning streak is the longest by the Gauchos since 1990.
Coupled with UCSB's win and UC Riverside's loss, the Gauchos are still tied for fourth place with UC Irvine but both teams are only one game back of the third place Highlanders.
Seven Gaucho seniors were honored on the field prior to the start of the game as part of the festivities surrounding Senior Day 2004. Taylor Vogt, Nate Sutton, Rich Sorenson, Ivan Ramirez, Brian Adams, Greg Powers and Aaron Jones were all escorted to the third base line by their parents as part of the ceremony. The Gauchos also extended a thank you to all the mothers in the crowd in oberservance of Mother's Day.