Both offense and defense misfired for the UCSB baseball team Tuesday afternoon at Cal State Bakersfield, as the Gauchos committed five errors and struck out more times than they reached base in a 4-0 loss. Roadrunner lefthander Jonathan Montoya struck out 10 in the process of recording his first complete game shutout as Santa Barbara was left contemplating its third straight loss.
UCSB (19-20) was unable to put things together in the clutch against Montoya, as seven hits went to waste throughout the game. The Gauchos never put together a multi-hit inning, partly because of Montoya’s ability to keep them guessing.
“He threw his off-speed 70 percent of the time if not more,” centerfielder Gunnar Terhune said. “He was able to use it to keep us off balance.”
Terhune and junior designated hitter Beck Wheeler were the only UCSB players able to notch two hits on the afternoon. CSUB (19-23), meanwhile, was able to put together 10 hits — including a first-inning leadoff homerun from Brandon Boren that proved to be all the Roadrunners needed.
On top of the Gauchos’ offensive woes, the defense gave them trouble as well. Despite taking pride in team defense on the season, UCSB let things get out of hand with fielding mistakes at times on Tuesday.
“Not a lot of everyday guys played,” Terhune said, accounting for the altered midweek roster. “When things started going downhill [defensively], they kind of snowballed.”
Two of CSUB’s four runs were unearned, and those could conceivably have made the difference if the Gauchos had rallied. But for UCSB, the rally never came, and the Gauchos now have to rebound for their weekend series against conference foe Cal State Northridge.
“As bad as the loss is, I figure it’s going to put a little fire under this team,” Terhune said. “These little things that are hurting us are things that can be easily changed.”
They will have the chance to turn things around this Friday at home against CSUN. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.