The UCSB baseball team returned to its winning ways Thursday, topping Cal State Northridge 8-3 in the Big West opener for both teams.

The Gauchos, who had their six-game winning streak snapped Tuesday against USC, have now won 14 of their last 16 games, and are off to their best start since 1984.

Santa Barbara (26-9, 1-0 in the Big West) jumped out to an early lead, as sophomore Skip Schumaker scored on a single by senior Chad Peshke to give UCSB a 1-0 lead. Northridge (23-13, 1-3) responded with two runs of its own in the bottom of the second, going up 2-1.

UCSB then took control, scoring seven unanswered runs, including a home run from senior shortstop Jeff Bannon, to take an 8-2 lead. Northridge posted a single run in the bottom of the ninth to finish the scoring.

Junior James Garcia picked up the win for UCSB, pitching a complete game, while striking out a career-high 11 batters.

UCSB will square off against Northridge on Friday and Saturday to finish the three-game series.

– Nexus Staff Report