Feb. 23, 2003
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team dropped the series final against UC Santa Barbara by a score of 5-4 in 10 innings Sunday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Santa Clara scored early in the game for the sixth-straight game, plating two runners in the top of the second inning to take an early 2-0 lead, capitalizing on two Gaucho errors. The two runs in the second brought the SCU total for runs in the first two innings over the last six game to 19.
Jim Wallace led off the second inning with a single to center field and moved to second on a bloop single to right field from Will Thompson. Michael Thompson grounded into a fielder's choice that saw Josh Fulton throw away the attempted double play, allowing Wallace to score and Michael Thompson to move up to second base. He then moved up to third base on a passed ball and scored on the very next play when Ryan Pierpont grounded to first baseman Bill Rowe whose throw home to try and get Thompson was high, allowing the second run of the inning.
UCSB scored its first run in the bottom of the fourth inning as Matt Wilkerson reached base on a dropped fly ball by Jason Matteucci, advancing to second base on the play. He would move to third base on a balk by John Redmond and would score one batter later when Nic Rodriguez doubled down the left field line, picking up his first hit and first RBI of the series. Chad Ziemendorf continued the inning with a single to right field, moving Rodriguez up to third base. Rodriguez was cut down at the plate on the very next play as Bill Rowe reached on a fielder's choice but the ground ball to Will Thompson was gobbled up and thrown home as Wallace applied the tag on Rodriguez for the first out of the inning. Santa Clara got out of the inning as Redmond induced Matt Stevens into a 5-4-3 double play, keeping the Broncos in the lead with a 2-1 score.
The Gauchos knotted the score at two runs apiece in the bottom of the fifth inning as Josh Fulton reached base when he was hit by a pitch and moved up to second base when Gabe Mann blooped a single into center field for his first hit of the year. Both Fulton and Mann moved up one base on a Redmond wild pitch before Fulton came home when Nate Sutton grounded out to first base. Redmond was relieved by Chad Fillinger who came in to face Wilkerson who got a base on balls in five pitches. Fillinger gave up a RBI single to Rodriguez on the very next pitch, giving UCSB a 3-2 lead. Ziemendorf stepped to the plate with runners on the corners but could not deliver as he popped out to shortstop down the left field line to end the inning.
Yesterday's offensive hero for the Broncos, Will Thompson, stepped the to plate to lead off the top of the sixth inning and promptly tied the game at three with his second home run in as many days. The towering solo shot easily cleared the 385 sign in right center field, giving Thompson his seventh RBI of the season.
UC Santa Barbara regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning as Sutton belted a one-out triple to right center field and scored one batter later as Wilkerson's sacrifice flyout to left field was deep enough to give the Gauchos a 4-3 lead. SCU reliever Anthony Rea, who entered at the beginning of the inning, was pulled after Wilkerson's flyout in favor of Patrick Overholt who walked the first batter he faced before getting Rowe to fly out to deep right field, ending the UCSB rally.
Jim Wallace led off the Santa Clara eighth inning with a soft line drive single down the right field line and moved to third base on back-to-back wild pitches. After a Will Thompson walk, Wallace scored the tying run on a Michel Thompson fielder's choice that saw Will Thompson thrown out at second base. Scott Dierks laced a pinch-hit single to left field moving Thompson to second base. Both runners moved up one more base as David Hoffmire reached on a fielder's choice that saw third baseman Nate Sutton commit a throwing error to second base. With the bases loaded senior Joe Diefenderfer stepped to the plate and was hit by a pitch that home plate umpire Bill Gatsen disallowed, saying Diefenderfer did not make an attempt to get out of the way. The go-ahead run was sent back to third base despite the disagreement from Bronco skipper Mark O'Brien. Following the discussion, Diefenderfer stepped back into the box where he grounded into an inning ending 6-3 double play.
UCSB ended the game after 3 hours and 50 minutes as Brian Adams singled home Ziemendorf from second base in the bottom of the 10th inning moving the Gauchos to 6-8 on the season while dropping the Broncos to 7-8 on the year. Ziemendorf had reached earlier on a fielder's choice when he laid down a bunt that was right at Hoffmire who threw out the lead runner, Greg Powers at second base.
The run was scored off Patrick Overholt who fell to 2-1 on the season after giving up his first earned run this season. It also snapped a consecutive innings scoreless streak of 10 1/3 innings that dated back to February 9 against UC Irvine.
Steve Morlock picked up the win for UCSB after throwing the final three innings in which he allowed only two hits. He improved to 1-2 on the season.
Santa Clara returns to action this week with a Tuesday night game against California at 6 p.m. in Buck Shaw Stadium. They will continue their homestand later on in the week with a three-game home series against Cal Poly. Friday's series opener is schedule for 3 p.m. while Saturday and Sunday's games are slated for 1 p.m.