Gauchos Top Trojans 6-3
May 22, 2012
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The USC baseball team lost 6-3 in their second meeting of the season with UC Santa Barbara Tuesday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Field despite a strong effort from freshman pitcher Nigel Nootbaar. The Trojans fall to 23-28 while the Gauchos improve to 25-27 on the season.
Nootbaar retired the first nine batters he faced before Brett Vertigan tripled to open the fourth inning for the Gauchos. Lance Roenicke followed with a single up the middle to score Vertigan and give UCSB a 1-0 lead. Marc Venning then plated Roenicke on a ground out to short and Greg Mahle scored Brandon Trinkwon on a ground out to second as UCSB went up 3-0.
Kevin Swick got the Trojans on the board in the sixth as he doubled to the left field wall scoring Brandon Garcia from first. Dante Flores then lined to center to bring Swick in from second cutting the lead to 3-2 and chasing starter Austin Pettibone from the game. Matthew Vedo entered to face Kevin Roundtree with one out and Flores on second. Vedo would strike out Roundtree and Houts to get the Gauchos out of the inning with a one run lead.
Pettibone would earn the win allowing two runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Venning tripled to right as Sherrod lost the ball in the sun and then scored on a fielding error by Andres Rodriguez at second base and the Gauchos pushed the lead to 4-2.
As the back-and-forth contest continued, Garcia singled though the left side as UCSB was playing him up the middle and Foat came in from second to again make it a one run game.
Nootbaar returned in the seventh but departed after a double by Joe Winterburn. Nootbaar put forth his second straight solid start allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits in 7 1/3 innings of work.
Mahle notched his second RBI of the game in the eighth as he doubled off James Guillen to score Trinkwon from first. Joey Wallace added an RBI single as the Gauchos went to the ninth with a three run cushion.
In the Trojans last at bats, Vedo got J.R. Auguirre to ground out then struck out Roberts and Sean Spear to secure the win and pick up his second save of the season. Vedo was impressive striking out seven, including his 100th of the season, in 3 2/3 innings.
Roundtree, Houts, Garcia and Flores all had multi-hit games but the Trojans stranded 13 runners on the day to UCSB's four.
USC returns to action tomorrow as they host UC Riverside at 6 p.m.