The UCSB baseball team endured another weekend of rain, playing only one game of its scheduled three-game series against Loyola Marymount.
The good news for the Gauchos (5-4) is that they won the game played Friday, topping the Lions, 10-4. The bad news for Santa Barbara is that it has now had five games rained out this season, and with each cancellation, UCSB is losing out on valuable playing experience.
"It’s starting to get really frustrating," senior shortstop Jeff Bannon said. "We were looking forward to getting a sweep this weekend. It was tough sitting in the dugout for two hours before the games were cancelled."
The Gauchos jumped all over Lions starting pitcher C.J. Wilson in the first inning Friday, driving in five runs. Junior first baseman Tyler Von Schell led the way for Santa Barbara, blasting his fourth home run of the year, this one a three-run bomb. Von Schell is hitting .436 for the season, displaying the form that made him an All-Big West selection a year ago.
Five first-inning runs was more than enough for UCSB starter senior Rylie Ogle. Ogle went eight innings, while allowing only one earned run and striking out five. Throwing three different types of pitches for strikes, Ogle kept LMU off-balance the entire game.
"The offense scoring five runs in the top of the first took a lot of the pressure off of me," Ogle said. "It allowed me to pitch my game and not worry about making a mistake."
Freshman reliever Justin Angevine struggled en route to closing out LMU, giving up three hits and two runs before recording the final out.
UCSB posted two more runs in the fifth inning and another in the sixth to go up 8-2. Senior second baseman Chad Peshke and junior right fielder Jed Stringham then added solo home runs in the seventh to finish the scoring. Stringham now leads the Gauchos in homers with six, and round trippers have accounted for two thirds of his hits on the season.
"I just go up there and try to put the ball in play between the lines," Stringham said. "I’ve used wooden bats in high school and junior college, and the ball travels a lot farther with aluminum bats."
Santa Barbara returns to Los Angeles today to make up for one of the postponed games, facing off against LMU at 2 p.m. The forecast is for rain once again, but junior starting pitcher James Garcia will be ready to go, nonetheless.
"I just act as if the game will be played for sure," Garcia said. "I just try and get a good night’s sleep and be totally prepared. It’s bothersome that we haven’t been able to play on a regular basis, but we’ll be ready."