Cal Baseball Wins 9-7 at UC Santa Barbara
March 28, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. - The California baseball team broke a 6-6 tie by scoring three runs in the seventh inning - highlighted by two-out RBI's from Blake Smith, Michael Brady and Charlie Cutler - and held on to defeat UC Santa Barbara, 9-7, Wednesday in Santa Barbara. The Golden Bears improved their record to 15-13 and the Gauchos dropped to 11-13. Earlier this year, Cal had defeated UCSB in a two-game series, 7-1 and 6-1, Feb. 25 and 26 in Santa Barbara.
The winning pitcher for the Bears was sophomore left-hander Craig Bennigson, who entered in the fifth and threw 2.1 innings with four hits, two runs and one earned run. Sophomore closer Matt Gorgen picked up his team-high sixth save by throwing the bottom of the ninth (1.0 inning, no hits, no runs, one walk). The losing pitcher for the Gauchos was reliever Bryan Fleming (1-2), who gave up the three runs on five hits to the Bears in the seventh inning.
Down 3-0 after the bottom of the first inning, Cal scored a run in the second on a sacrifice fly by sophomore shortstop Brady. The Bears then scored twice in the third inning on a bases loaded two-run single by junior second baseman Josh Satin to tie the game, 3-3. The Gauchos responded with a run in the bottom of the third for a 4-3 lead, but in the top of the fourth Cal added three more runs on a RBI single by freshman catcher Dylan Tonneson, and a two-run single up the middle by freshman left fielder Jeff Kobernus for a 6-4 advantage.
UC Santa Barbara was not done scoring, however, as the Gauchos notched single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to tie the game, 6-6. Cal was able to get a cushion when, with two outs in the seventh, junior center fielder Taylor Grigsby got on base with a single to second base. Smith then doubled down the left field line, scoring Grigsby. Brady followed with an RBI single through the left side, scoring Smith, and pinch hitter Charlie Cutler's RBI double to left center field, scored Brady. The Gauchos were able to get within two, 9-7, with a run in the bottom of the seventh, but Benningson and Gorgen were able to prevent UCSB from scoring more runs.
Kobernus finished the day as the Bears' top hitter, going 3-3 with two RBI. Brady, Tonneson, Smith and Grigsby added two hits apiece for Cal.
The Bears will now return to Evans Diamond for their Pac-10 opening series against Washington State, beginning Friday, Mar. 30 at 2 p.m. Cal and the Cougars will play at 1 p.m. Saturday, Mar. 31 and Sunday, Apr. 1.
UC Santa Barbara: None.