After a three-game sweep against Pacific over the weekend, the UCSB baseball team was handed its first loss in five games against St. Mary’s on the road last night. The 2-1 loss came after the Gauchos took the UOP series by a combined score of 21-9.

“It was going to be a pitching duel almost any way you looked at it,” Head Coach Andrew Checketts said about the St. Mary’s game. “We weren’t able to have enough discipline at the plate and I’m pretty disappointed with our execution.”

UCSB continues the week with a 21-18 record and a 7-5 mark in Big West play, good enough for No. 3 in the conference. UOP finishes the weekend at the bottom of the Big West with a 1-8 league record, while the St. Mary’s Gaels improve to 19-19 overall. The Gauchos began the series against Pacific by scraping together a 6-5 victory,due in part to sophomore infielder Brandon Trinkwon’s triple in the ninth that allowed the winning run to cross home plate. Freshman lefthander Andrew Vasquez struck out seven batters and allowed just four hits through six innings pitched for UCSB.

Junior infielder Marc Venning provided the doubles for his 22nd birthday on Saturday. Venning drove in three runs in the game, adding to UCSB’s overall 9-2 margin of victory. Freshman righthander Austin Pettibone gave up nine hits in the game and was credited with the win, his sixth of the season.

The third game provided more of the same offensive output from the UCSB dugout as the Gauchos were able to score five runs in the first inning and maintain a 6-0 lead through the fifth. Senior lefthander Zak Edgington allowed only two hits and one earned run against a UOP squad that currently ranks atop the Big West standings with a .287 batting average. UCSB saw five different St. Mary’s pitchers take the mound yesterday, combining to allow just four hits from the Gauchos on the day. Junior outfielder Brett Vertigan led UCSB offensively with two hits, but the Gauchos were unable to convert on scoring opportunities late in the game.

“We weren’t able to have enough discipline at the plate,” Checketts said. “Their [pitchers] did a good job of keeping the ball down and we chased them. We had quite a few bad at-bats during the day.”

Vertigan — who batted 9-for-16 and scored eight runs during UCSB’s four-game win streak against USC and UOP through the weekend — was recently named Big West Player of the Week for the second week this season.

“He was on base almost every time he was up,” Checketts said. “When he has a good weekend we tend to score runs.”

UCSB returns to action this coming weekend for a three-game home series against UC Davis at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.