The UCSB baseball team trudged down to UCLA for a one-game matchup Wednesday afternoon, after having four games in a row postponed due to rain. The Gauchos returned to the field against the Bruins, but fell 6-5 in a 14-inning marathon.
“Everyone is disappointed with the loss,” said sophomore pitcher Jim Bullard, who hurled the eighth inning. “We fought so hard and just came up short.”
Santa Barbara jumped out early, scoring three runs in the third inning to take a 3-0 lead. UCSB then tacked on another run in the fifth, and with starting pitcher junior James Garcia throwing well, the lead looked like it might hold up.
Garcia followed up his proficient performance against SJSU with another commanding game. He pitched six innings, allowed only one run and struck out seven.
“Our pitchers all pitched great tonight,” senior second baseman Chad Peshke said. “We threw six of them out there, and they all did well.”
The game started to unravel shortly after Garcia left the game, with the Bruins scoring once off Bullard in the eighth inning, and tying it with two runs in the ninth – the second run coming in bizarre fashion.
After rallying for one run against UCSB closer sophomore Jared Shumaker, UCLA threatened the Gauchos again with runners on first and third base. Looking to close the game out, Shumaker then tripped and fell, dropping the ball out of his glove. Shumaker was called for a balk and the runner advanced from third to tie the game.
“The mound was made of really sticky clay,” Bullard said. “He just got his cleat stuck and fell.”
Following the miscue, both teams went scoreless in the 10th inning and matched runs in the 11th. Neither team scored again until the 14th inning, when UCLA outfielder Matt Pearl singled down the right field line, driving in catcher Josh Arhart for the game-winning run.
“We have a sense of urgency now,” Peshke said. “We know we’re a good team, we just need to get some wins.”