After scoring five runs in the eighth inning, Pepperdine beat the Gauchos 9-6 and increased the team’s losing streak to three games on Tuesday. UCSB’s record drops to the .500 mark at 3-3, while Pepperdine rises to 4-4.
[media-credit id=16616 align=”alignleft” width=”250″][/media-credit]“We made some errors early in the game that gave them some runs,” Head Coach Bob Brontsema said. “And we didn’t pitch well late [in the game].”
It was Pepperdine’s fourth win at home and UCSB’s third loss on the road. Both teams are undefeated while playing on their home fields, but neither team has won a game away from home.
“It’s significantly tougher to play on the road,” Brontsema said. “There’s a different comfort level, different facilities … but this was a game we should have won no matter where we were.”
UCSB scored six runs on 10 hits, more in each category than in two games at Washington State last weekend.
“It was probably 50 degrees warmer today than Saturday [against Washington State],” Brontsema said. “That had as much to do with [our hitting] as anything else. It was a good environment for hitting.”
Pepperdine sophomore left-hander Alex Najera recorded an error on a pickoff attempt in the fourth inning that brought in UCSB junior outfielder Joey Wallace and moved senior outfielder Mark Haddow to third base. He was brought home after a sacrifice fly from junior infielder Ryan Palermo.
The Gauchos scored three runs total during the fourth inning to take a 3-1 lead. Haddow, the Gaucho Player of the Game, went 2-3 at the plate, scoring two runs and recording both a double and an RBI.
Brontsema was ejected in the fourth inning for arguing a call made by home plate umpire Dwayne Finley. According to Brontsema, UCSB senior infielder Trevor Whyte was hit by a pitch during his at-bat, yet the call was made that White’s bat made contact with the ball.
“[Brontsema] getting ejected put a lot of energy in the dugout,” Haddow said. “Everyone likes to see their coach fight for them.”
UCSB continued driving in runs during the sixth inning, when a Palermo single allowed Haddow to score his second run of the game. Another single by junior outfielder Lance Roenicke scored Palermo and gave UCSB a 5-4 lead. The Gauchos added to the lead again in the seventh inning and went into the bottom of the eighth with a 6-4 lead.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Pepperdine scored five straight runs to give the team a 9-6 lead over UCSB.
“They came up with a couple of clutch hits,” Haddow said. “Our defensive errors and walks finally caught up to us.”
UCSB senior lefthander Nick Capito, who stepped in for the starter Nick Loredo, is credited with the loss.
UCSB returns for a three-game series at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium against visiting Sacramento State on Friday.