Pacific Baseball Outslugged by UC Santa Barbara, 9-7
Opening up its final homestand of the 2010 season, the Pacific baseball team dropped a 9-7 decision to UC Santa Barbara on Friday, May 28. The game featured 12 extra-base hits with four Gaucho homeruns to Pacific's solo shot by senior Joe Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.).
With the loss the Tigers dropped to 31-21 on the season and 12-10 in Big West play while the the Gauchos improved to 22-30 and 8-14 in conference play.
After a solo homerun from Sean Williams gave UC Santa Barbara an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, sophomore Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.) dropped the first pitch he saw into center field one out deep into the bottom of the first. Junior Brian Martin (Livermore, Calif.) followed Christopher's single with one of his own down the left field line, advancing Christopher over to third base with only one out. Senior Mike Walker (Marysville, Calif.) then connected for the third-consecutive single this time through the right side of the diamond to bring home Christopher and tied the game 1-1. With runners at first and second, junior J.B. Brown (Alvin, Texas) reached on a fielder's choice to second base that eliminated Walker out at second, but put Martin only 90 feet from scoring at third base. Oliveira then unloaded on the Gauchos' starting pitcher Mario Hollands, tallying the inning's fourth single to score Martin with two outs and give Pacific the momentary 2-1 lead.
Both teams failed to score in the second inning, but it was UC Santa Barbara who struck first in the third. The Gauchos tallied two runs in the top half of the frame to take a 3-2 lead. But the back-and-forth continued when Pacific responded with three more in the bottom of the third.
Walker led off the inning with his second single of the game to put the tying run aboard. Brown found success in advancing Walker into scoring position when he tallied his first hit of the game, via single through the left side of the field. When Oliveira came up to the plate, he hit a grounder to third baseman Beck Wheeler that Wheeler never got his glove on. Oliveira reached first on the error and brought Walker around to score, unearned to knot the score up at 3-3. One out later, senior Ben Gorang (Turlock, Calif.) launched his own extra-base hit with a two RBI double into left field to give the Tigers a 5-3 lead.
Pacific was able to keep UC Santa Barbara scoreless in the fourth and senior LHP David Rowse (Pleasanton, Calif.) allowed one more run in the fifth to preserve Pacific's narrow 5-4 lead. However, the lead would not last much longer as the Gauchos posted two runs in the sixth - Rowse's final inning in the game. Trailing 6-5, senior RHP Hunter Carnevale (Roseville, Calif.) could not stop UC Santa Barbara either, as the Gauchos put up one run in the seventh and two more for good measure in the eighth to lead 9-5.
Pacific tried to rally late in the game with a run in the seventh and one more in the bottom of the ninth. One out into the game's final half inning, Oliveira tallied his second RBI of the contest with a blast that was a line drive shot over the left field wall. That cut the gap down 9-7. Down to their final out, the Tigers sent up Gorang who delivered with a single into left center to continue the inning. That's when UC Santa Barbara went to the bullpen once again to bring in reliever Jesse Meaux. With the tying run at the plate, Meaux was able to preserve the Gauchos' victory and earn his third save of 2010.
Hollands earned the win on the mound for UC Santa Barbara and improved to 5-5 on the year while Rowse fell to 7-5 with the loss. Oliveira paced Pacific at the plate going 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBI and Pacific's only homerun of the contest.
Game 2 of this three-game series will kick off on Saturday, May 29, with a 6 p.m. first start.