Cal Poly must have figured at least one of their pitchers could get it right. However, the UCSB baseball team picked apart every one of the Mustangs’ nine pitchers to snap a four-game losing streak with an 11-8 victory at home Tuesday.
The Gauchos (8-6) put a run across in seven of the eight innings they batted. Despite finishing the game with 15 hits, Cal Poly (10-9) hit into three double plays and left seven runners on base.
“I thought we swung the bats better. I think we were a little better today,” Head Coach Bob Brontsema said. “That was really our emphasis; we did a lot of video work and adjusting our swings. We made some good adjustments today.”
Senior relief pitcher Loren Fraser pitched his way to the win for UCSB. Fraser entered the game in the fourth inning with the bases loaded and no outs. After allowing a sacrifice fly, Fraser got the next two batters to end the inning. Over the next three innings, Fraser held the Mustangs scoreless, allowing just four hits and no walks.
Fraser has picked up after a rough series at Fresno two weeks ago. In his last three outings, he has given up no runs on five hits in 8.1 innings pitched.
“The changes I made were mainly in my attitude,” Fraser said. “It’s just about knowing you’re better than your opponent.”
UCSB brought home the game-winner on an RBI double from senior catcher Matt Kalafatis in the seventh. The Mustangs helped Santa Barbara cushion its 9-7 lead in the eighth, allowing a run on a sacrifice fly after walking three straight batters, and bringing the final run of the game home by hitting their fourth batter of the day.
“The win was definitely good for individuals,” senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson said. “Almost everybody had a good day at the plate.”
The Gauchos got the scoring started in the first after a double from senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson, an error on a play at the plate and a sacrifice fly from junior first baseman Bill Rowe brought in three runs.
Sophomore starter Brian Tracy allowed the Mustangs a run in the second. The Gauchos countered with two more runs in the bottom half of the inning off the bat of hot hitting senior third baseman Dave Figoni. Figoni drove a single back up the middle with two on and two outs, clearing the bases and giving UCSB a 5-1 lead.
Cal Poly scored three more runs off of Tracy in the third. After a run-scoring single, senior third baseman Kyle Blumenthal jacked a two-run home run over the right field wall to cut the lead to one.
Senior right-hander Nate Holguin came in to relieve Tracy and ended the third. In the fourth, Holguin hit the first batter he faced and gave up three runs before being pulled.
After facing the full barrage of nine Cal Poly pitchers, seven of the Gauchos’ nine starters had recorded a hit. Figoni finished the day with two RBIs and one run, while Wilkerson went two for four with three runs scored and an RBI.