CBB News Sources
Stockton, Calif. – Steve Cook’s two-RBI double in the top of the ninth inning catapulted UC Santa Barbara (20-8, 4-0) to a 5-4 come-from-behind win against division rival Pacific (5-21, 0-4) on Friday night at Klein Family Field.
The Gauchos entered the top of the ninth inning trailing 4-3. With one out, Patrick Rose’s infield single got things started. Freshman right fielder Mark Haddow walked in the ensuing at-bat, putting runners on first and second. That’s when Cook strolled to the plate and hit a 1-0 pitch from Tigers reliever Larry Holscher (1-3) into the left center field gap, scoring Rose and Haddow to put the Gauchos in front, 5-4. Zach Samuels (2-1) picked up the win pitching the final three innings of relief, slamming the door on the Tigers to secure the Gaucho victory.
The Tigers took the lead in the top of the first. Tiger second baseman Adam Ching hit a solo shot off Gaucho starter Mike Ford to put the Tigers in front, 1-0.
Ford went six strong, allowing four runs (two earned) on nine hits, while striking out three and walking two. Friday’s outing marked the sixth time in seven starts that Ford pitched at least six innings.
UCSB struck back with one run in the top of the second courtesy of a Chris McMurray RBI single to left field.
The Tigers plated a couple runs in the bottom of the third on two hits. Oliveira scored on a fielding error, and Martin singled home McKeever to give Pacifc a 3-1 lead.
The Gauchos countered with runs in the fifth and six. Patrick Rose scored on a balk in the fifth inning, while McMurray singled home Eric Oliver in the sixth to bring the Gauchos within one, 4-3. The score would remain 4-3 until the fateful ninth inning.
In danger of dropping their first Big West Conference game, the Gauchos rallied off Tiger relievers Holscher and Cole Akins in the ninth to keep their perfect conference record intact at 4-0.
Cook and McMurray paced the Gauchos offensively going 2-for-4 with two RBI, respectively. Rose went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Shane Carlson added a pair of hits in a 2-for-4 effort as well.
The Gauchos resume play tomorrow, April 5 in game two of the three-game series against Pacific at 6:00 p.m. at Klein Family Field.