Cats struggle against Gauchos in Tony Gwynn Classic opener


UK head coach Gary Henderson talks to the umpire during the game between the University of Kentucky baseball team vs. Wright State University in Lexington , Ky.,on Tuesday, February 25, 2014. Photo by Michael Reaves | Staff 

Chris Angolia

UK baseball struggled yet again in its Friday matchup, this time dropping the opener of the Tony Gwynn Classic to the University of California Santa Barbara Gauchos by a score of 11-4.

Junior Zack Brown was not able to put things together against the Gauchos after struggling last Friday against Wofford.

Brown’s counterpart Shane Bieber, fared much better in the victory for the Gauchos. The preseason Pitcher of the Year in the Big West Conference went six and a third innings giving up seven hits and just three runs while adding five strikeouts in the process.

Brown struggled again, giving up six runs with four of those being earned in four and a thirds innings of work. Things looked promising early for the right-hander after a quick six pitch inning in the first but the Gauchos were able to put up three runs in the second and things went downhill from there.

Although Brown followed up a rough second with a nice third inning, he would go on to give up three more runs before being pulled in the fifth for Brad Schaenzer who would also struggle.

Schaenzer gave up two more runs in the fifth and was not able to record an out and after the fifth the 3-0 lead for the Gauchos ballooned to 8-0.

The Gauchos would push two more across in the seventh off freshmen Daniel Tillo growing the lead to 10-0.

The Cats would get on the board in the bottom half of the seventh adding three runs, cutting the Gauchos lead to 10-3, but the offense could never fully kick things in gear even though they were able to put up ten hits.  

They would go on to strand 10 baserunners and go an uncharacteristic 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

The lone bright spot for the Cats was first baseman Evan White who struggled last weekend but was able to rebound by going 3-5 with a double and an RBI on Friday.

The Cats move to 2-1 on the season. UK will be back in action on Saturday when it will face off with the loser of San Diego State and Bryant in the losers bracket of the Tony Gwynn Classic.