The Gaucho baseball team lost 4-2 on Sunday to San Jose State at Municipal Stadium despite junior lefty Nick Capito allowing only one earned run in 7.1 innings in his Gaucho debut.
UCSB lost the series 1-2, with its only victory coming from junior lefty Mario Hollands’ eight-inning shutout effort in the first matchup of Saturday’s doubleheader. Hollands allowed two hits and threw 105 pitches in the effort.
“[Hollands is] a top round [draft pick] type of pitcher,” Head Coach Bob Brontsema said. “He had no-hitter type of stuff. He was very dominant pitching to both sides of the plate.”
In Sunday’s loss, the Gauchos were ahead 2-1 with two outs and a Spartan runner on second base in the seventh inning before junior third basemen Beck Wheeler’s throwing error led to a three-run home run in San Jose State’s following at bat. In the top of the eighth inning, junior right fielder Mark Haddow hit a one-out single, advancing junior second baseman Sean Williams to third. Haddow then advanced to second on a wild pitch. With two men in scoring position, the Gauchos’ next two batters grounded out, diminishing their chance to win their first series against San Jose since 2005.
“We’re going to play games like [Sunday] where we’re not getting as much run production,” Hollands said. “I was hoping we could win the last two, but that first game was a great way to start.”
The Gauchos drove in seven runs for Hollands in the first game of the doubleheader. Senior shortstop Matt Valaika and junior first basemen Trevor Whyte both hit home runs while senior designated hitter Shane Arslan led the road team with two RBIs.
Gaucho junior right-hander Nick Loredo threw 6.1 innings and allowed four runs in the 6-5 loss in the second loss of the double header. UCSB was ahead 4-0 before the Spartans drove in one run in the fourth and two in the fifth. They tied the game 5-5 in the seventh and won off a one-out, run-scoring single in the bottom of the ninth.
“We played well in that second game,” Hollands said. “It was a game we should have won.”
Despite dropping the series, Coach Brontsema appears to be content with his team’s efforts so far.
“If we can compete a little bit better at the plate, we have a chance to be good,” he said. “At the end of the season I expect us to be preparing for the postseason. … I wouldn’t think of anything else.”
The Gauchos will continue their road trip at Loyola Marymount on March 2 before heading up to Sunken Diamond field for a three-game series against Stanford. They play their next home game on March 12 against Northern Illinois, but will not face Big West competition until April.