April 16, 2010
Santa Barbara - Mario Hollands held the Titans at bay for 8 2/3 innings and Gunnar Terhune's two-run home run in the seventh wound up being the difference as UC Santa Barbara defeated Cal State Fullerton 5-3 in the first game of a three-game Big West Conference series at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium Friday afternoon.
Hollands allowed three runs on eight hits and nearly completed his third game of the year except Sean William booted the would-be last out of the game to allow Christian Colon, who had homered twice earlier in the game, to come to the plate as the tying run. Hollands improved to 3-2 on the year with the win, and UC Santa Barbara jumped their record to 16-12, 3-1. Sunday's starter Jesse Meaux walked a batter before getting Gary Brown to line out to center for his second save of the year.
Kyle Mertins had a disappointing outing, working just 2 2/3 innings in place of regular starter Noe Ramirez, who is injured. Mertins struggled with his control from the start, walking two, hitting three and uncorking a wild pitch before being relieved by Dylan Floro. Mertins gave up three runs on six Gaucho hits and suffered the loss, falling to 3-2.
The Titans are now 18-13 overall and 5-2 in Big West Conference play.
Colon hit the first of his two home runs on the second pitch of the game off Hollands. It was his ninth of the year, and second leadoff home run of the season for the junior shortstop. But that would be the last lead the Titans would have.
The Gauchos loaded the bases in each of the first two innings off Mertins. The right-hander got out of it unscathed in the first, but forced the tying run home with a two-out, bases-loaded walk to Matt Valaika in the second.
With two outs in the third, the Gauchos took the lead for good as Marty Mullins hit a Mertins 0-2 pitch out to left to give Santa Barbara a 2-1 lead. After Mullins, Mertins hit Ryan Tregoning, wild pitched him to second and then gave up an RBI-single to Ryan Palermo to account for the third UCSB run. Mertins lasted just one more batter before handing the ball to Floro.
Floro worked tough in relief going 3 1/3 inning without giving up a run to keep Fullerton in it. But in the seventh Tregoning singled to lead off the inning and wen to second when Floro's errant pick off attempt moved him up 90 feet. After a line out by Palermo, Terhune worked Floro in a nine-pitch at bat that resulted in his first home run of the year, a two-run shot out to left to give the Gauchos a commanding 5-1 lead.
Floro finished near his career high (4 2/3) with 4 1/3 inning under his belt and gave up two runs on eight hits while striking out two. Derrick Dingeman tossed a scoreless inning and picked up two strikeouts behind Floro.
Colon belted his 10th home run of the year to lead off the eighth, and Nick Ramirez hit his sixth of the year in the ninth, but that would be all.
Fullerton had eight hits on the afternoon with Colon, Ramirez and Carlos Lopez accounting for six of them with two apiece. Colon had two RBI.
The Gauchos were 9-for-18 (.500) with two outs and scored three of their five runs with their backs against the wall. Mark Haddow led all players with three of Santa Barbara's 14 hits. Five Gauchos finished with two-or-more hits on the day. Terhune led the Gauchos with a pair of RBI.
The second game of the series will be on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Daniel Renken (4-2) will be on the hill for Fullerton.