Feb. 21, 2003
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team dropped its series opener with UC Santa Barbara by a score of 5-1 Friday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Santa Clara scored in the top of the first inning for the third straight game as A.J. LaBarbera belted a solo home run over the left field wall to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the first. LaBarbera fell behind in the count early but battle back and fouled off three would be strikeout pitches before connecting on his second home run of the season.
UCSB tied the score at one run apiece in the bottom of the third inning as Brian Adams led off the inning with a single and later scored on a safety squeeze bunt by Josh Fulton. Adams advanced to third on a two-base throwing error by starter Matt Travis who overthrew Shawn Epidendio on a failed pick off attempt at first base.
The Gauchos took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning as Nate Sutton led of the inning with a solo home run to right field. Matt Wilkerson hammered the very next pitch to the left center field wall for a double and advanced to third on a Nic Rodriguez groundout to second base. Wilkerson came home two batters later as Matt Stevens launched a two-run home run over the left center field fence to give UCSB a 4-1 lead after four full innings.
Bill Rowe added to the UCSB lead in the bottom of the fifth as he led off the inning with a solo home run over the right center field wall. Rowe's round tripper was the third of the game for the Gauchos, the most the Broncos have given up in a single game this season.
UC Santa Barbara starting pitcher Sean Thompson pitched to one batter in the fifth inning before giving way to Alex McRobbie. Thompson ended the game with five full innings pitched in which he allowed only one run while scattering eight hits with four strikeouts and only one walk to earn the win. McRobbie threw two full innings in which he gave up only one hit. Ivan Ramirez came on in the eighth inning and Steve Morlock came on in the ninth to finish off the game for the Gauchos. Niether reliever gave up a run as UCSB improved to 5-7 on the season.
Travis picked up his first complete game of the year while seeing his record drop to 1-2 on the season. He allowed five runs, four of which were earned, on eight hits with four strikeouts and no walks. The loss dropped the Broncos to 6-7 on the season.
The same two teams will play game two of the three-game set Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.