A day after pounding #11 Pepperdine at home 14-0, the UCSB baseball team got a taste of their own medicine, allowing 14 runs Wednesday afternoon at the Wave’s Eddy D. Field Stadium on the way to a 14-3 blowout loss.
“We came out yesterday and pounded out 14 runs, but today we were not where we wanted to be,” senior third baseman Patrick Rose said. “We weren’t getting too many hits early on and the Pepperdine pitching was doing a good job staying away and mixing speeds.”
Santa Barbara (19-8 overall) finished the game with a paltry six hits, with all three of their runs coming by way of the long ball. A two-run homer from senior outfielder and team RBI leader Mike Zuanich put the Gauchos on the board in the sixth inning, but by then the game was pretty much out of reach, as the Waves (18-9) had already tacked on 11 runs of their own. Junior second baseman Shane Carlson went yard in the eighth with the bases empty to account for UCSB’s final run of the game.
“Their pitchers were getting ahead of us in almost every at bat and it didn’t help that their park was very different from ours,” junior center fielder Brian Gump said. “There hasn’t been a palpable difference with our play on the road, but nothing seemed to be going right today.”
The road woes might have played a part in the performance of freshman starter Greg Davis (1-2, 7.41 ERA), who allowed seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in less than five innings of action. One of the wins in the Gauchos remarkable 15-1 home showing belongs to Davis, but the young right-hander has not pitched nearly as well in either of his outings away from Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
“[Davis] didn’t pitch badly at all today,” Gump said. “He gave up a few runs early, but settled down and did a good job of locating his fastball and using his curveball, slider and changeup to get the Pepperdine batters chasing.”
UCSB will have a chance to redeem itself, as the season series versus the Waves will be decided on May 7, when the Gauchos travel to Pepperdine once again. Although Santa Barbara lost last year’s season series 2-1, the team is optimistic that they will take down the West Coast Conference powerhouse in their final meeting of 2008.
“We’re a team that can compete with any team on any day,” Rose said. “We know we are a better ball club than Pepperdine and will learn from our mistakes and be ready to take them on when the time comes.”