May 28, 2010
STOCKTON, Calif. - Marty Mullins had a bone in his hand broken when he was hit by a pitch early in May. On Friday night at Pacific he returned the Gauchos lineup and made his presence felt.
Mullins, a senior catcher, walloped a pair of home runs and went 3-for-4 with three RBI, as UC Santa Barbara (22-30 overall, 8-14 Big West) won the first game of its three game series at Pacific (31-21, 12-10), 9-7.
Jesse Meaux, who is scheduled to start UCSB's final game of the season on Sunday, nailed down the game by striking out the Tigers' left fielder Josh Simms on three pitches to end the contest. It was his first save of the season and it secured a win by starter Mario Holland (5-5). Hollands grappled through seven innings, allowing 12 hits and six runs, four of which were earned.
The game was back-and-forth. After UCSB took a 1-0 first inning lead on a solo home run by Sean Williams, Pacific rallied to take a 2-1 edge in the bottom half of the inning.
The Gauchos reclaimed the lead in the top of the third inning. First baseman Trevor Whyte started the frame with a double that barely landed fair down the first base line. Whyte moved to third when the Tigers starting pitcher was called for a balk. Mullins then stepped to the plate and belted his first of two home runs over the left field wall, giving UCSB a 3-2 lead.
Pacific scored a trio of runs in the bottom half of the third to take a 5-3 edge. The key blow was a two-run double by shortstop Ben Gorang. He finished the game with a pair of hits in five at bats.
UCSB pulled within a run in the fifth inning on Mullins' second circuit clout of the game.
In the sixth frame, Santa Barbara scored a pair to take a 6-5 edge. With one out, Mark Haddow doubled down the left field line. Ryan Tregoning then blasted a double to deep center field to score Haddow and tie the game. One out later, Ben Edelstein tripled to right center, scoring Tregoning and giving the Gauchos the lead.
Each team scored a run in the seventh. UCSB scored when Mullins, who singled to start the inning, crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
In the top of the eighth, with one out, Ryan Palermo walked on a 3-2 pitch and then Edelstein blasted a 1-1 offering from Hunter Carnevale over the left field wall, giving the Gauchos a 9-6 lead.
David Meals came in to start the ninth inning for UCSB. After getting J.B. Brown to fly out to left field, he allowed a home run to Tiger catcher Joe Oliveira to narrow the gap to 9-7. Two batters later, after a ground out and a single by Gorang, the Gauchos went with Meaux, who sealed the deal by striking out Simms on three pitches.
UCSB and Pacific will play the second game of the series on Saturday evening Klein Family Field. The game will begin at 6:00 pm and can be heard on AM 1490 with Steve Wendt calling the play-by-play. The game can also be accessed on-line by clicking here.