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A long-awaited rematch quickly turned into a disappointing loss yesterday at Caesar Uyesaka stadium.
The UCSB baseball team fell 8-2 to visiting Cal State Bakersfield, giving the Roadrunners their second road victory of the season, the first of which came on March 6 against the Gauchos.
“The pitching they threw today was pretty good,” senior outfielder Joe Wallace said. “We hit some balls hard today but that’s the way baseball goes — sometimes you get unlucky.”
With the loss, UCSB falls to 14-13 on the year and remains 2-1 in league play. CSUB improves its record to 12-14 overall.
The Gauchos seemed out of sync from behind the plate starting in the first inning, and were unable to score through the opening six innings against CSUB senior pitcher Spenser Messmore. Messmore threw 113 pitches in nine innings for the Roadrunners, giving up just six hits and improving on his .67 ERA, a statistic worthy of No. 3 in the nation for Division I baseball.
“He has had a good year so far and he commanded the strike zone from the first inning on,” Wallace said. “His slider was really working for him.”
The win improves Messmore’s season record to 3-1. Junior outfielder Frank Martinez led the way for CSUB on the offensive end with two RBI’s, two hits and one run.
Contrary to Messmore’s solo pitching performance through nine innings, UCSB saw four of its pitchers take the mound throughout the course of the game. Starting pitcher Matt Vedo gave up four runs and three hits through just two innings on the mound while tallying four strike outs before being replaced by junior right-hander Jared Wilson.
“Matt struggled throwing strikes,” Wallace said. “We gave him too many free base runners, which will always help [the other team], especially when we’re facing a guy who’s pounding the strike zone.”
Wilson struck out one batter while giving up two hits and one run through four innings pitched. In the seventh and eighth innings, senior right-hander Jeremy Peterson gave up three runs and two hits before being substituted for sophomore left-hander Cameron Cuneo, who gave up no hits or runs in the ninth inning.
“They hit a couple home runs which helped them later in the game,” Wallace said. “When they had a few hits here and there, they had runners to score.”
The Gauchos return to Big West Conference action tomorrow for a three-game series against visiting Cal State Northridge.