May 20, 2001
Santa Barbara, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara couldn't complete a ninth-inning comeback Sunday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, losing 3-2 to Cal Poly on the final day of the regular season.
The Gauchos (39-15, 12-6) will hope for an at-large berth to the NCAA Regionals after losing to the Mustangs (30-26, 8-10) for the second time in three days, eliminating UCSB's chances for a Big West Championship and automatic bid to the 64-team tournament.
UCSB tied the game at 1-apiece in the sixth. Ryan Spilborghs led off with a single to left, extending his school-record hitting streak to 33 games. He advanced to second on a Jared Schumaker sacrifice bunt and came around to score when Mike Kolbach singled to center field.
Down 3-2 in the ninth, the Gauchos knocked Cal Poly starter Jared Blasdell (5-5) out of the game when Dave Molidor doubled to right center with one out. Blasdell allowed just two runs on four hits in 8.1 innings of work to get the win. With Mustang closer Nathan Choate on the mound, the Gauchos loaded the bases when Tyler Von Schell walked and Jeff Bannon singled off the second baseman's glove. Jed Stringham flied out to center, scoring Molidor. Donovan Warrecker then hit a fly ball to short right field that the Cal Poly right fielder made a running, game-ending catch on.
Kevin Tillman went 3-for-5 and scored twice for the visitors. Keith Anderson was 2-for-5 with two RBI. UCSB starting pitcher Jim bullard left the game with two outs in the fifth inning, having allowed one run on five hits. Matt Vasquez threw the final 4.1 innings, allowing two runs on six hits. Vasquez (5-4) was charged with the loss in the game.
The Gauchos will finish alone in second place in the Big West Conference. They will likely garner UCSB's first NCAA Regionals berth since 1996. The 55th Annual NCAA Baseball Championship selection show will air tomorrow, Monday, at 12 pm on ESPN.