May 14, 2011

UCSB Can't Hold Early Lead, Drops 7-4 Decision to No. 18 UC Irvine

May 14, 2011

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Irvine's bullpen held UC Santa Barbara to one hit and no runs over the final six innings on Saturday as the 18th-ranked Anteaters (33-13 overall, 12-5 Big West) came from behind to defeat the Gauchos (21-23, 6-11) 7-4 in the second game of a three-game series in Santa Barbara.

Irvine starter Matt Whitehouse entered Saturday's game against UCSB with a record of 3-0 and an earned run average of 1.69. The Gauchos, however, were able to get to Whitehouse for four runs and six hits in three innings. The final blow came on a two-run home run by first baseman Joe Wallace with no outs in the fourth inning to give his team 4-3 lead and chase the Anteater starter.

That's when the Irvine bullpen took over. Andrew Thurman (3-3) tossed 4.1 innings, allowing just one hit and hitting a batter. Left handed Jimmy Litchfield entered the game in the eighth and retired all five batters for his second save of the season.

UCSB starter Matt Vedo (4-6) had an up-and-down outing. He went 4.2 innings, allowing eight hits, six runs, five of which were earned, walking three and hitting a pair of batters.

The Gauchos jumped on top 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Derek Eligio led the game off with a triple to deep right center field and scored one out later on a sacrifice fly by Sean Williams. Back-to-back-to-back singles by Mark Haddow, Ryan Palermo and Wallace scored the second run.

The score was still 2-0 when Irvine got on the board in the third. With out out D.J. Crumlich singled to center. Vedo then hurt himself by hitting Sean Madigan on a 1-2 pitch. Brian Hernandez then lined a single to left field and the ball slipped under the glove of a charging Eligio. By the time the ball was relayed back to the infield, two runs had scored and Hernandez was on second base. One out later, Hernandez scored on a single up the middle by Jordan Fox making the score 3-2 Anteaters.

UCSB reclaimed the lead on Wallace's two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth, but Irvine responded with three more in the top of the fifth.

Hernandez began in the inning with a single to left field. After Hillman walked, Fox was hit by a Vedo offering to lead the bases. Christian Ramirez popped out to shortstop Steven Moon and Jordan Leyland struck out and the bases remained loaded. The Gauchos, however, couldn't get the third out as Ronnie Shaeffer singled to center, plating a pair, and Tommy Reyes singled up the middle to score another, making it 6-4 Anteaters.

Irvine scored its final run in the top of the eighth when Reyes walked and went to third on a two-base throwing error by UCSB reliever Bryce Uhrig. He scored on a suicide squeeze by Crumlich.

The Gauchos and Anteaters will play the final game of the three game series on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Tickets are available at UCSBgauchos.com or at the stadium one hour prior to game time.

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