Oregon State did a little early spring cleaning this weekend, sweeping Santa Barbara baseball in three games at home.
The Beavers (9-1) took out their brooms, dusting the Gauchos (7-6) under the rug at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium on Friday 4-2, Saturday 6-4 and Sunday 5-3.
“You can either be beaten or you can lose a game. I don’t think we beat ourselves once this weekend,” Head Coach Bob Brontsema said. “We didn’t beat ourselves; we went out and played well, and they played better. They won those battles.”
UCSB got on the board first Sunday, taking a 1-0 lead on a first-pitch home run from senior second baseman Chris Malec in the first inning. The lead didn’t last past the third inning, when the Beavers roughed up sophomore starter Andy Graham, scoring all of their five runs in the inning.
After starting off the inning with two singles and a walk, Graham walked home a run to tie the score, while an error gave the Beavers the lead. With two on and one out, junior designated hitter Joey Ledesma knocked a double into left field to clear the bases and give Oregon State a 4-1 lead. Another run came in before Graham was pulled in favor of sophomore Justin Segal, who got the final two outs to end the inning.
From there, Segal showed off his best stuff, pitching his longest outing of the year. The side-arm right-hander held the Beavers scoreless, allowing just three hits and two walks in his 5.1 innings of work. Segal also struck out six players, including the only three batters in the sixth inning.
“We feel that our pitching is solid,” Brontsema said. “[Segal’s] one of the seven guys that we can throw in any situation and know they will keep us in the ballgame. He obviously was a key part of that today.”
A home run from senior third baseman David Figoni in the sixth inning cut the lead to three. In the eighth, the Gauchos picked up another run thanks to an RBI single from senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson but could not close the gap despite having the tying run on base with no outs.
“These three games, it really could have gone either way,” Figoni said. “We were a base hit away from winning every game, and we take pride in that.”
UCSB attempted a late-inning comeback on Saturday, tying the game in the sixth on a two-run single to right field from freshman designated hitter Matt Aidem. The bullpen for the Gauchos faltered in the seventh and eighth, though, allowing the Beavers to score one run in both innings. Oregon State junior reliever Nate Fogle came into the game and earned his second save with 2.2 innings of scoreless relief.
After going down 4-0 in game one Friday, UCSB could only muster two runs against sophomore starter Dallas Buck. Buck earned his second win of the season, allowing just five hits and striking out six through seven innings.
“I have to give them more credit than us taking fault. We have to find a way to win those battles,” Brontsema said. “There’s no better builder of confidence than success, and we didn’t have a whole lot of successes this weekend.”
A few bright spots for the Gauchos were Figoni and Aidem. Figoni once again had the hot bat for UCSB, batting .384 on the weekend with two runs and two RBI. Aidem made the most of his starting role this weekend, picking up two RBI on three hits in eight at-bats.