The road has not been kind to the Gaucho baseball team this season. After an impressive 4-1 mark in its home stand last week, UCSB went 1-2 against Riverside in a three-game series over the weekend.
The team won the rubber match on Sunday with a 9-5 victory, but their record in away games now stands at 3-14. The team also dropped to 5-7 in conference play after the series, putting them in second-to-last place in the Big West ahead of 1-10 Northridge.
“You’re never pleased about not winning a series,” Head Coach Bob Brontsema said. “But I’m extremely pleased with the fact that we had a couple of rough games and we came back and responded very well [Sunday].”
After Sunday’s win, UCSB improved to 19-19 on the year (5-7 Big West) on its way to snapping Riverside’s seven-game winning streak that dated back to April 17. The Highlanders fell to 22-15 (6-6 Big West) with the loss, falling behind early to an eager UCSB offense.
“They had the confidence going into the game, so it was important to go out and strike first,” senior right fielder Mark Haddow said. “That gave us a lot of confidence and kind of shut them down a little bit.”
Haddow sparked the Gaucho offense in the third with a two-RBI single, giving the team an early three-run lead after senior second baseman Sean Williams drove in the game’s first run. Haddow finished at two for five with three RBI.
Senior left-hander Nick Capito got his fourth win of the season after holding Riverside scoreless through the first four innings. Providing a big lift for the Gauchos was senior center fielder Derek Eligio, whose two-run double in the sixth inning — combined with Haddow’s RBI single two batters later — gave the Gauchos a dominating 9-2 lead.
“We always want to take the series and win two or three,” Haddow said. “When that doesn’t happen in the first two games, you have to come out and win that third game.”
Right-hander Greg Davis worked six innings Saturday, allowing three earned runs.
“After how the first two days went, I think we are happy that we won the third game,” Eligio said. “Hopefully that will continue throughout the season and we will win the rest of the series from now on.”
UCSB will continue its road trip in Northridge for a three-game series beginning Friday. The team has split weekday matches against CSUN so far this season, but neither game counted toward the conference standings. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Matador Field.