Isla Vista is renowned for sunny weather, but yesterday that image was dashed, leaving both the UCSB baseball and women’s tennis teams far from high and dry.
The Gaucho sluggers were glad the rain came before the legal rain cutoff in the fifth inning rather than later, as they were down 8-5 to visiting Pepperdine with two outs in the top of the fourth. After the Waves went up 1-0 early, Santa Barbara went buck wild in the third, with senior second baseman Steve Cook leading off with a homer. Five batters later, junior catcher Marty Mullins blasted a grand slam to clear the bases, putting SB up 5-1.
Pepperdine answered with some fireworks of their own with a two-run single and a pair of home runs, one knocking in three and the other two, to race out to an 8-5 lead. The game will be resumed with two outs in the top of the fourth on May 4 at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Meanwhile, the women’s tennis team was competing in its final home match of the season. Celebrating senior Noelle Hirneise’s Gaucho career on Senior Day, Santa Barbara played host to St. Mary’s.
“[Noelle] always worked hard and always wanted the best for the team,” junior team captain Bryanna Ojeda said. “She’s loud, fun, and smart. She knows the weirdest trivia facts, randomly, and kicks our ass at Scattergories.”
Both teams decided to lead with all six singles matches first, rather than playing doubles to start, in order to attempt to complete as many matches as possible. The Gaels won five of the six first sets played, with freshman Natalia Lozano the only home winner, going 6-2 in her first set.
In their second sets the Gauchos began a comeback, with sophomore Jill Damion, freshman Sofia Novak and Ojeda all leading, and junior Michelle Murphy knotted up before the rain came. Because the match flooded out so early, it was canceled without rescheduling. UCSB next faces Washington State on Thursday morning for an indoor match. Ojeda said that it should be a competitive trip.
“Both teams are really good,” Ojeda said. “[Indoor courts] are totally different – the ball comes at you a lot faster. But we’re getting the experience and going there to have fun and do our best.”