Despite inclement weather looming, the Princeton baseball team kicked off its 2014 campaign as scheduled Friday at UC Santa Barbara. Big contributions from the newcomers were not enough, as the Tigers fell 9-1 to the Gauchos.
The Tigers (0-1) and Gauchos (5-1) were originally slated to play a doubleheader Saturday, but it has been adjusted to a single game at 2 p.m. ET and the twinbill has been moved to Sunday. Any updates with schedule adjustments will be posted on GoPrincetonTigers.com and Twitter (@PUTIGERS/@PUTigerBaseball).
Senior pitcher Michael Fagan appeared in control early, tossing a pair of hitless frames to open things up. With a pair of runners on UCSB got the best of the Tiger infielders, scoring on a Billy Arendt throwing error.
The Tigers put their young roster on display versus the Gauchos, starting four freshmen. Nick Hernandez and Chad Powers were on the corners, and Danny Baer and Paul Tupper played in the outfield with senior centerfielder Alec Keller.
First baseman Hernandez and right fielder Tupper both recorded their first career hits, including the first pair of hits for the Tigers of the year in the fifth inning. Hernandez finished going 2-for-3 with a run, while Tupper went 2-for-2.
Fagan did not concede a hit until the fifth inning, when the Gauchos doubled up their lead off an RBI bunt to first by shortstop Peter Maris. Over 5.0 innings, Fagan had five strikeouts, four hits and one earned run against in 22 batters faced.
Things unraveled on reliever A.J. Goetz, as UC Santa Barbara scored three runs on a hit and three walks and took a 5-0 lead in the sixth.
Princeton broke up the shutout behind freshmen Baer and Hernandez in the top of the eighth. Hernandez led the inning off with a single to second and was sent home on a fielding error during Baer’s at bat.
It would not be enough to get Princeton’s offense going further and UCSB closed the game adding four more runs in the bottom half of the eighth.
Princeton finished with five hits, including a Danny Hoy double, to UCSB’s 10.