May 28, 2006
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -
Junior right-hander Gary Daley Jr. pitched eight scoreless innings, scattering four hits, and sophomore center fielder Grant Desme had three hits as Cal Poly defeated UC Santa Barbara 4-1 in a Big West Conference baseball game Saturday night before 1,267 in Baggett Stadium.
With the win, the Mustangs evened their series against the Gauchos, with the rubber game -- and the final game of the 2006 season for both teams -- set for Sunday at 1 o'clock. Cal Poly is 28-27 overall and UC Santa Barbara fell to 26-27. Both teams are tied for fourth place in the Big West with 9-11 marks.
UC Irvine clinched third place outright with an 11-9 mark following Saturday's 10-inning 5-4 victory over UC Riverside.
Daley (7-8) struck out eight, one short of his career high, and walked three. Senior right-hander Rocky Roquet pitched the ninth inning, allowing a run on three hits.
Desme went 3-for-4, including a double. Junior designated hitter Bryan Kepner added two hits and an RBI while junior third baseman Josh Lansford added a two-run double, giving him hits in 20 of his last 21 games. Senior first baseman Jimmy Van Ostrand extended his hitting streak to eight games with a double.
For Desme, Lansford and Van Ostrand, their double was the 12th of the season for each.
UC Santa Barbara, outhit 9-7 by the Mustangs, was led offensively by shortstop Chris Valaika and center fielder Matt Emerick, each with two hits. All seven Gaucho hits were singles.
Cal Poly scored a run in the third as Matt Cooper doubled with one out and came home on Gilbert Gil's single through the left side of the Gaucho infield.
The Mustangs added another run in the fourth as Desme doubled down the left-field line, stole third and scored on Kepner's grounder to second base.
Cal Poly broke the game open with two runs in the sixth. Jimmy Gardiner reached on an error, Desme singled to right field and Lansford's double to left-center field cashed in the runs.
UC Santa Barbara averted a shutout in the ninth on three singles by Valaika, Emerick and Chris Webber. Prior to the ninth, only three UCSB runners had reached second base and none to third.
Gaucho starter Jeff Braun (2-2) surrendered four runs and seven hits in five-plus innings.
Daley, who threw 104 pitches Saturday, has allowed just five earned runs in his last three starts -- a 2.14 ERA over 21 innings -- with 18 strikeouts.
Cal Poly will send senior right-hander Casey Fien (5-5, 4.24 ERA) to the mound Sunday against UC Santa Barbara junior right-hander Brian Tracy (3-7, 4.66 ERA).