Just three days after a crushing defeat to UCLA, the UCSB baseball team bounced back with a three-game sweep of San Jose State. The Gauchos took two of the three games in the final at bat in walk-off fashion Friday and Sunday, winning in the bottom of the ninth and tenth innings, respectively.
With the sweep, Santa Barbara improves to 7-4 on the year behind stellar pitching by sophomores Andrew Vasquez and Greg Mahle, who each pitched five innings. SJSU drops to 2-9 .
“I finally just walked away and let Andrew do it on his own and he has responded better to no coaching than to over coaching,” Head Coach Andrew Checketts said. “And Mahle is going to need an ice bath tonight; that’s his tenth inning this week and he’s done a great job going back to that start against UCLA.”
Yesterday’s series finale was a tight one all the way to the end. UCSB scored first in the bottom of the fourth, but San Jose retaliated in the top of the sixth .
With the game tied up 1-1 in the bottom of the tenth, sophomore center fielder Cameron Newell got aboard with a two-out single to right field. Sophomore second baseman Woody Woodward was hit by a pitch to bring up junior shortstop Brandon Trinkwon. Trinkwon hit a high fly ball just foul down the left field line that dropped between the left fielder and shortstop. With the extra life, Trinkwon made the Spartans pay with a two-strike, two-out single into left field to drive in Newell from second base.
“After that ball fell I was completely confident I was going to get it done,” Trinkwon said. “I’m pretty confident in my two-strike approach. These guys had some good stuff, but I knew I’d be able to fight off his good stuff and find a hole like I did.”
On Saturday, freshman Justin Jacome pitched a gem. Jacome allowed nine hits in seven innings, allowing just two runs and struck out three while walking none to earn his first win of the season.
UCSB was behind 2-1 after five innings of play, but would go on to score runs in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings before a big four-run seventh would put the Spartans away for good. The Gauchos scored seven runs on 14 hits, headlined by Trinkwon’s 3-4 day with two RBI.
In game one Friday, sophomore starting pitcher Austin Pettibone scattered nine hits over eight innings, allowing four runs, just one earned.
UCSB had taken the lead early when sophomore first baseman Tyler Kuresa singled in a run in the first. Santa Barbara followed up with two more runs in the second for a 3-0 lead. In the top of the fifth inning, two Gaucho errors led to three unearned runs and a four-run inning for the Spartans, who would take the lead briefly until the bottom of the seventh when Woodward tripled down the right field line and Trinkwon hit a sacrifice fly that tied the game back at four.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, two hit batters and an intentional walk loaded the bases for Mahle, who walked to push in the winning run and give the Gauchos 5-4 win.
Today UCSB will play host to visitor St. Mary’s to end the nine-game homestand. The game begins at 2 p.m. at Caesar Uyesake Stadium.
A version of this article appeared on page 6 of March 4st, 2013’s print edition of the Nexus.
Photo by Mark Brocher of the Daily Nexus.