May 15, 2009

UC Riverside Snaps UCSB's Four-Game Win Streak 9-4

May 15, 2009

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara's Joe Gardner suffered a strained oblique and thus had his shortest outing of the season on Friday, lasting just two innings as the Gauchos dropped the opener of a three-game series to UC Riverside, 9-4 at the Riverside Sports Complex.

The loss snapped UCSB's four-game winning streak.

Gardner, who had pitched a complete-game, two-hit shutout last week vs. Long Beach State, allowed three unearned runs on three hits while walking two and striking out one before leaving with a strained oblique. Clayton Edwards opened the third inning and he and reliever Greg Davis allowed six runs on 10 hits in the final six innings they pitched.

UCSB (27-20, 9-10) cut the Highlanders (30-17, 9-10) lead to 6-4 in the sixth inning when Mark Haddow, who led the Gauchos with three hits, drove in Marty Mullins on a single to center. UCSB banged out 12 hits in the loss.

But that was the closest the Gauchos would get as UCR scored once more in the seventh inning and twice again in the eighth to take the opener. The two teams will play again today at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

After a scoreless first inning, UCSB struck first with a run in the second when Shane Carlson's bases loaded sacrifice fly scored Ryan Cavan, who opened the inning with a single. But the Highlanders scored three in the bottom of the inning and Gardner didn't appear again.

The Gauchos, though, scored twice in the third, tying the game at 3-3. Eric Oliver's double scored Haddow and Steve Cook scored on Cavan's sac fly. Oliver finished with two hits, as did Matt Valaika, who is the reigning Big West Player of the Week.

Mario Hollands (5-5, 4.40 ERA) will take the hill today for the Gauchos after allowing just two earned runs in seven innings last weekend vs. LBSU.

Earlier this year UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction, and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity, and social awareness, along with ensuring academic success. UCSB has a 92% student-athlete graduation rate.

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