May 21, 2004

Gauchos Fall to Cal Poly In Opener 5-2

May 21, 2004

Box Score

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara could not hold on to an early two-run lead and Cal Poly right-hander Jimmy Shull struck out twelve as Cal Poly defeated the Gauchos 5-2 Friday night at Baggett Stadium and all but dropped the Gauchos out of post-season contention. The loss, which drops the Gauchos' overall record to 32-20 and 9-10 in Big West play is the third in the last four games for UCSB and leaves them in a three-way tie for fourth place with two conference games remaining.

Shull allowed just two runs on seven hits in 7.1 innings as he improved to 9-5 on the season. Gaucho right-hander Michael Martin missed out on his chance to become UCSB's first ten-game winner since 2001 as he suffered the defeat, lasting 5.1 innings and giving up five runs on seven hits. Alex McRobbie was nearly perfect out of the bullpen, tossing the final 2.2 innings for UCSB while allowing just one hit.

Greg Powers got the scoring started for UCSB in the third when he drilled the first pitch he saw off the right-center field wall for a triple to score Matt Kalafatis with the game's first run. Kalafatis had led off the inning with a nearly perfect drag bunt single to to third. Later with Powers on third, Chris Malec's bouncer to short proved slow enough to get the run home despite the Mustang's drawn in infield.

Back to back doubles in the Cal Poly fourth tied the game at 2-2 before a walk and another double gave the Mustangs a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish. Cal Poly added two more in the sixth and right-hander Nolan Moser pitched a perfect 1.2 innings to close out the game and earn his eighth save of the year.

Powers and Malec both finished with two hits apiece for the Gauchos.

UCSB and Cal Poly will continue their three-game, season-concluding Big West series Saturday at 1 p.m.