The baseball team from the City of Angels came to town and brought all hell with them.

UCSB gave up an unholy 23 hits in an 18-13 loss to UCLA in Caesar Uyesaka Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. Eight different pitchers gave up 15 earned runs and the defense committed three costly errors, condemning the Gauchos to fall to a record of 17-26 overall.

UCSB Head Coach Bob Brontsema was dismayed by the defeat.

“I must be stupid because I think we can go out and finish great,” Brontsema said. “But for some reason or other, we’re not getting results.”

Santa Barbara seemed to be getting plenty of production in the second inning when freshman left fielder Matt Wilkerson tied an early 1-0 Bruin lead with his 14th home run of the season. The 14th dinger broke the UCSB freshman record and tied the Big West record.

Two batters later, junior first baseman Josh McCanne crushed a two-run homer to give Santa Barbara its first lead.

The Gauchos seemed to be cruising toward a second straight win when they went up 5-1 the next inning after senior shortstop Dave Licht laced an RBI triple, and freshman second baseman Chris Malec delivered an RBI single.

UCLA stormed back, scoring eight runs in the next three innings to take the lead for good in a game emblematic of Santa Barbara’s frustrating season.

“If we score 11 runs, we give up 12. If we score three, we give up four,” Brontsema said. “When we pitch well, we don’t hit, and when we hit well, we don’t pitch. We are just out of sync.”

Junior Kevin Miller (2-4) took the loss after inheriting a 7-5 lead in the sixth only to squander it by dishing out four earned runs.

Undaunted, UCSB responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning to stay within one.

Sophomore Rich Sorenson, the only Gaucho pitcher not to give up a run, came in the seventh to give Santa Barbara a chance at coming back.

In the next inning, junior Sean Thompson surrendered five fatal runs in just 1/3 of an inning.

“I wish I had an answer for why our two best guys gave up nine runs,” Brontsema said.

The Gauchos would not surrender without a fight, though. In the bottom of the ninth, Licht and junior right fielder Ryan Spilborghs hit solo home runs to bring the final count to within five.

Licht went 3 for 3 with 3 RBI and was a double away from hitting for the cycle.

Once again though, the Gauchos fell just short of victory, giving yet another strong one-sided showing.

“Last year, we were on exactly the other side,” Licht said. “We won every game by getting the breaks – it’s definitely discouraging.”

The Gauchos hope that with just four weeks left in conference play, they can finally tie up their loose end s and have a strong all around performance.

“I think we’ll finish strong,” Licht said. “We’ve been putting things together so we can finish on a good note.”

Brontsema anticipates his team putting on a late season run to finish at .500 in conference.

“I still think we can go 9-3 to end the season,” Brontsema said.