In its first home series of the year, the UCSB baseball team split its four games against San Francisco.
The Dons move to 3-5, taking both games in Saturday’s doubleheader while the Gauchos now hold a 4-3 record after winning games one and four.
On Sunday, UCSB started sophomore pitcher Andrew Vasquez in hopes to end the two-game skid. Vasquez pitched well enough for the win, allowing just two runs and striking out seven, but also mired his line with six walks and two hit batters.
“I’m definitely not happy with the walks and hit batters,” Vasquez said. “My teammates definitely have my back with great plays defensively and our bullpen has done a great job.”
Santa Barbara scored first in the bottom of the second inning when sophomore third baseman Peter Maris hit a sacrifice fly to right field to bring home sophomore outfielder Steven Fisher. Maris would tack on another two runs in the fourth with a two-run double to extend the lead.
After the Dons brought it back within a run, junior shortstop Brandon Trinkwon drove in the first of three insurance runs on a 0-2 pitch with two outs. Sophomore Luke Swenson pinch hit and drove in two runs on a high popup that fell with some miscommunication by the USF defense. The runs would lead to a 6-2 final score.
“Those [runs] were big for us because our bullpen was getting a little thin,” Head Coach Andrew Checketts said. “We had to use a lot of arms the day before so those were big runs there when we needed them.”
On Saturday, the Gauchos dropped both games of the doubleheader, ending a three-game winning streak. In game one, UCSB scored first on an RBI single by sophomore outfielder Cameron Newell. The run would eventually be the only score for UCSB.
In the top of the fifth, freshman starting pitcher Justin Jacome gave up a lead-off double that eventually led to San Francisco’s first run off a double from senior outfielder Justin Maffei.
However, it was in the seventh inning that the Dons put the winning runs on the board. After a double and a walk, Maffei hit a three-run homer to put USF up 4-1.
In Saturday’s second game, the Gauchos were blown out on their home turf 11-5. San Francisco scored at least one run in each of the first six innings.
On Friday afternoon, the Gauchos defeated the Dons 6-1 to bring their winning streak to three games. Sophomore pitcher Austin Pettibone twirled another gem, throwing seven and one-third innings and allowing only five hits while striking out three. Scoring began in the bottom of the first when Newell opened the inning with a walk. Back-to-back triples by Trinkwon and sophomore first baseman Tyler Kuresa led to a three-run inning.
Up next for the Gauchos will be a visit from UCLA on Tuesday Feb. 26 in a rescheduled game from last Tuesday.