Two days after defeating rival Cal Poly in dramatic fashion, the UCSB baseball team must now deal with a heartbreaking loss of its own.
[media-credit name=”Joshua Morton” align=”alignleft” width=”250″][/media-credit]In control of the game and up 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning, UCSB allowed Northridge to rally and score two runs for a 3-2 victory over the Gauchos. Junior left-handed pitcher Zak Edgington made his first start as a Gaucho in place of injured Nick Loredo.
“It was definitely a tough loss and I feel we had that game,” senior second baseman Trevor Whyte said. “Edgington did a great job and he did exactly what we needed to do. I feel bad for Edgington because he did pitch one heck of a game.”
With the loss, the Gauchos’ record falls to 14-13 while Northridge improves to 17-16. Although this game featured two Big West teams, the game does not count towards either team’s conference record.
“We need to bounce back, have a couple of good days in practice, and put this game behind us,” Whyte said.
After walking a batter to open the ninth, Edgington was relieved by senior right-hander Bryce Uhrig. Uhrig proceeded to get the next two outs before hitting a batter and allowing a walk-off two run double to sophomore third baseman Tommy Simis.
“I’d like to throw this one away,” Head Coach Bob Brontsema said. “The positives from this game though are that Edgington was outstanding. He was dominant and he was awesome.”
Edgington, a transfer from SBCC, gave up two runs in his eight innings of work. Before the Matador’s comeback, he left the game set for his first career victory.
“I can’t say enough about how Zak pitched, he was incredible today,” junior left fielder Joe Wallace said. “For him making his first start of the year, he looked really polished and comfortable out there.”
Wallace led the offensive attack for the Gauchos with a team-high two hits in four at-bats, while also stealing a base and scoring a run. Wallace hit the walk-off single on Sunday to secure the Gauchos 13th-inning victory over Poly.
“We brought back the good feeling we had on Sunday, except now it’s opposite,” Brontsema said. “We are going to have to get our minds right for Friday and play hard.”
Both teams finished the game with five hits. Neither could get their offense flowing until is until Northridge’s rally in the ninth.
UCSB scored one run in the first inning off a Northridge error before taking a two-run lead in the second when sophomore shortstop Steven Moon drove in Wallace with a double to right-center field.
The Gauchos resume Big West play on Friday for a three-game series against defending conference champion No. 11 Cal State Fullerton. First pitch in Fullerton is scheduled for 7 p.m.