Pointer Finishes Strong, But UCSB Tops Pacific
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Senior RHP Marcus Pointer (Pacifica, Calif.) struck out a career-high tying eight batters, but the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos took game two from Pacific, 5-0, Saturday afternoon. Sophomore 3B Dustin Torchio (Santa Cruz, Calif.) added two hits to close in on the Big West batting title.
Pointer tossed a complete game, but the Gauchos' 1B Trevor Whyte continued his hot series, with a pair of home runs and three runs batted in to provide the offense for UCSB.
Senior LF Matt Carvutto (Poway, Calif), junior RF Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.) and sophomore 2B Tyger Pederson (Palo Alto, Calif.) turned in one-for-four days, while junior CFDaniel Johnston (Portola Valley, Calif.) and junior DH Allen Riley (Fresno, Calif.) each picked up a hit in three at bats.
UCSB junior RHP Matthew Vedo tossed a complete game shutout, going the distance with six strikeouts. He allowed seven hits with no walks or hit batters.
The Tigers put two on in the second, as Pederson singled and was replaced at first on a fielder's choice by Johnston. Riley lined a single to left, and Johnston was awarded third via defensive obstruction as he rounded second. But Vedo came back posted the strikeout to end the inning.
In the bottom of the second, Whyte - who posted three hits and five RBI in Friday's game - led off with a solo shot to right, his second homer of the series.
The Gauchos put two on in the third, and after Pointer fanned LF Joe Wallace, 3B Ryan Palermo hit a sacrifice fly. Whyte followed with a two-run home run as the Gauchos took a 4-0 lead.
Torchio served a one-out single into center third, fighting off a 1-2 slider from Vedo, but was stranded as Vedo carried the shutout through four.
Pointer set down UCSB in order in the fourth, but in the fifth, 2B Sean Williams and RF Mark Haddow posted back-to-back singles and after a sacrifice bunt, Palermo poked a single through the drawn in infield for the fifth run of the ballgame.
Torchio pulled a hot shot between first and second for his second hit of the game in the sixth, but was erased on a double play to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Pointer went into lockdown mode, as after allowing a single, he came back to retire eight of the next nine, including four strikeouts, punching out back-to-back batters to end the seventh, and repeating the feat again in the eighth.
Johnston hit his 15th double of the season in the seventh, but Pacific didn't get a runner past second after the second inning. Carvutto refused to go quietly in the ninth, lining a single off Vedo with two out, but Vedo coaxed a ground out to first to end the ballgame.
Vedo needed 89 pitches for his third complete game of the season, improving to 6-6 overall with the victory. In his previous outing, he carried a no-hitter into the seventh before settling for an eight-inning, one-hit performance as he ran his run of shutout innings to 17 straight frames.
Pointer fell to 4-8 on the season in his final start for the Tigers, but set a season-high and tied his career best mark with the eight Ks, matching his eight-strikeout, eight-inning performance on May 14, 2010 against Cal State Bakersfield.
With the pair of hits, Torchio improved his average to a Big West leading .363, posting his 25th multi-hit game of the year.
Following the brisk hour and 57 minute ballgame, Pacific falls to 16-37 on the year, 8-15 in the Big West, while the Gauchos pass the .500 mark at 26-25 overall, 10-13 in the Big West.