The UCSB baseball team finished the weekend on the wrong side of a three-game sweep against Long Beach State. The Gauchos fell in all three games over the course of the weekend by scores of 6-3, 5-4 and 4-3, all of which were played on the road at Cal State Long Beach.
With the losses, UCSB drops to 17-17 overall and currently holds a 4-5 record in the Big West Conference. The 49ers improve to 16-17 overall and 7-2 in league play.
The weekend began late for both teams, as thunderstorms and heavy rains postponed Friday’s series opener until Saturday. However, the postponed game did not help UCSB’s play on Saturday, as the Gauchos were outscored 6-3 through eight and a half innings. After taking a 2-0 lead through four innings, UCSB gave up four runs on four hits in the sixth inning. Two more runs in the seventh inning secured the win for CSULB, which held the Gauchos to just one more score in the eighth.
Saturday’s second game just a few hours later offered UCSB multiple chances to tie the series. The Gauchos took the 49ers into five extra innings, and even held a two-run lead in the 12th, before falling in the 14th inning 5-4. Junior outfielder Brett Vertigan had two hits on six at-bats for the Gauchos, and UCSB was out-hit 12-5 on the evening. Starting freshman righthander Austin Pettibone played well through just over six innings, giving up just five hits and two runs throughout. Senior righthander Matt Vedo replaced Pettibone on the mound for just over three innings, in which he gave up no runs on five total hits. Freshman lefthander Greg Mahle closed the game for the Gauchos in the final three innings, where he gave up three runs on only two hits by the 49ers.
The series finale on Sunday offered UCSB its best chance to pull out a win on the weekend. With two outs in the ninth inning and the tying run at third base, a ground ball by senior outfielder Lance Roenicke was corralled by the Long Beach third baseman, who easily made the toss to second and erased any hopes of a UCSB victory.
Senior lefthander Zak Edgington was granted the start in Sunday’s game and allowed three earned runs in just over five pitched innings. However, Edgington’s most noticeable stat on the day was his five struck-out batters, which marked his career high. UCSB’s pitching staff allowed just seven hits on the day for CSULB, whose own play at the mound contained the Gaucho offense to just eight total hits.
UCSB will stay on the road during its next five games, beginning with an evening nonconference game on Wednesday at USC. UCSB will then travel south again next weekend for a three-game Big West series against Cal State Northridge before venturing north to take on Saint Mary’s next Monday, April 23.