As the saying goes, “Two out of three ain’t bad.”
For the second-straight weekend, the UCSB baseball team went on the road and came home with two more victories in the standings. This time, the Gauchos’ victim was Big West rival Sacramento State. Yet the days of coasting through the lower tier of the conference are over: It doesn’t seem to matter whom Santa Barbara is playing, the games are all tough.
After having play postponed due to rain on Friday, the two teams played a double-header the following day, with UCSB (29-11, 4-2 in the Big West) winning game one 13-6, and dropping game two, 4-2. In the rubber game on Sunday, the Gauchos erased a 7-5 deficit to win 9-7 in ten innings.
Santa Barbara jumped all over the Hornets on Saturday, posting three runs in the first inning. UCSB didn’t let up in the second or third, scoring a combined six runs in the two innings to bolt to a 9-1 lead. The Gauchos would then add four more runs for the final tally.
Coming off his “Big West Pitcher of the Week” performance, junior starter James Garcia picked up the win for UCSB. The righty gave up only two earned runs in eight innings while striking out five. With the win, Garcia upped his win total to seven, good for second best on the squad behind senior pitcher Rylie Ogle.
The Gaucho bats went silent in the second game of the double-header, notching only two runs for the game. Although UCSB did pound out nine hits, it could not string together enough base knocks to made a difference. Senior second baseman Chad Peshke and sophomore right fielder Ryan Spilborghs led the way for UCSB with two hits apiece.
Pitching in place of an injured Rylie Ogle, freshman Matt Vasquez was stuck with the loss after pitching 6.2 innings and giving up four runs, all of them earned.
Game three on Sunday turned into a see-saw affair, with the Gauchos ending up on top. Sacramento State took the early lead, going up 4-2 after three innings. After the Hornets posted another run in the fourth, UCSB then put three runs on the board in the fifth to tie the game at 5-5. With the game tied at seven in the tenth, UCSB got RBI singles Peshke and senior designated hitter Mike Koblach to go up 9-7. Senior reliever Jamie Gonzales closed out the Hornets in the tenth to give Santa Barbara the series victory.