The UCSB baseball team came from behind to win their second game in a row yesterday at home, taking down USC by a score of 5-4. The win puts Santa Barbara back above .500 on the season, with an 18-17 record.
USC posted four runs on the scoreboard before the Gauchos even took a swing at the ball. Junior starting pitcher Greg Davis gave up six hits to the Trojans and, with the help of four steals, USC was able to go up 4-0 in the very first inning.
“It’s tough to have four runs put on you” senior center fielder Gunnar Terhune said. “It would have been very easy to roll over and give up, but we have that drive and that tenacity.”
However, with the help of the bullpen, UCSB was able to shut out the Trojans for the remainder of the game, giving up just three more hits. In the 2nd inning sophomore pitcher Matthew Brady took over for Davis and pitched two innings, allowing just one hit. Junior pitcher Sam Phippen then came in and pitched two scoreless innings with one strikeout. Junior pitcher Connor Whalen then pitched two scoreless innings for the Gauchos, before junior pitcher Nick Loredo finished out the final two innings and got his first career save.
“They were able to take advantage of a first pitch strike and go from there,” Terhune said of the bullpen. “It speaks a lot for those guys. They bared down and threw strikes.”
The lack of USC offense paved the way for a Gaucho comeback. In the bottom of the 3rd inning, junior second baseman Sean Williams singled and advanced to second before scoring on a single to center field from junior first baseman Trevor Whyte. Senior shortstop Matt Valaika also got on base and scored off another single, this time from the bat of senior left fielder Ryan Tregoning.
Santa Barbara continued to hit the ball well into the 4th inning. Junior designated hitter Beck Wheeler singled to right field and Terhune blasted a homer to left-center field to score two runs for the Gauchos and tie up the score.
“I always swing hard in case I hit it, and, finally, I ran into one that ended up making it over the wall,” Terhune said. “It was a big lift for us.”
UCSB took the lead for good off a Tregoning homerun in the 7th that barely stayed inside the left-field foul pole. With the Gauchos up by one, neither team got a hit the rest of the way, sealing the Trojans’ fate and securing a win for Santa Barbara.
“Ryan has been our go-to guy. He is a tough individual and as big of a team player as there is in the Big West, there’s no doubt about it,” Terhune said. “[The win] was a great uplift, especially for the morale of the team.”