The mess that was UCSB baseball against Westmont began 2 p.m. Tuesday. Ten pitchers, 26 runs, 21 walks, five hit batsmen and three hours later, the Gauchos walked away from Caesar Uyesaka Stadium with a 20-6 win.
Santa Barbara (16-24 overall, 1-2 in the Big West) picked up its second win over the Warriors this season and its 12th straight from its cross-town rivals.
“This game was pretty sick. They had 25 baserunners and 13 walks. You don’t win many games when you walk 13,” UCSB’s Head Coach Bob Brontsema said. “[Westmont has] some excuses. They played yesterday and three over the weekend so we knew it could be a struggle for them.”
After Gaucho pitcher Brian Tracy allowed three runs in the first inning, Westmont’s Ryan McGill countered by giving up seven runs on one hit, walking five. McGill was pulled after facing just eight batters in the first in favor of junior Jamie Barth, who couldn’t stop the bleeding allowing another two runs to score, completing the Gauchos’ nine run first.
With the 9-3 lead, Tracy settled down but still had trouble finding the strike zone, giving up one more run in the third. Tracy allowed three earned runs on five hits through 3.2 innings, walking nine.
“Tracy couldn’t find the strike zone. We wanted him to try to figure it out. Unfortunately, he never quite did,” Brontsema said. “We wanted him to fight through and get some innings. Luckily, he had a good cushion.”
After leading off the second with a triple, UCSB sophomore designated hitter Jack Pinkerton came around on a wild pitch from Barth, his first of five on the day. An RBI ground out from junior first baseman Bill Rowe and an RBI single from senior center fielder Matt Emerick brought home two more in the third, giving the Gauchos a 13-4 lead.
The Santa Barbara bench got an opportunity to contribute Tuesday. The lineup featured rare starts for Pinkerton, junior catcher Josh LaGrotta and junior left fielder Chris Caraballo. Pinkerton finished the day 2-3 with three runs, two RBI and two walks, while Caraballo and LaGrotta combined to drive in four runs and score three.
“[Tuesday’s game] was kind of fun. I like playing, so whenever I have a chance to play I like to have fun with it,” Pinkerton said. “I’m just really glad I was able to go out and help the team win.”
The Gauchos managed to plate five more runs in the eighth, including one on an RBI ground out from pinch hitter senior pitcher Loren Fraser, the first RBI and at-bat of his college career.
Sophomore reliever Justin Segal earned the win for UCSB, pitching a scoreless 2.1 innings, improving to 1-1 on the season. The Gauchos return to action this weekend, traveling to Davis on Friday.