In a matchup against No. 12 UCLA, the UCSB baseball team fell 12-3, giving up 11 hits compared to just four for the Gauchos.
Santa Barbara drops to 4-4 while the Bruins improve to 5-2.
The Gauchos were short-handed after a long four-game series this past weekend and turned to their everyday designated hitter Greg Mahle to start Tuesday even after tossing one inning on Sunday.
“I don’t know if I was ready stamina-wise for five innings, but I started off pitching well,” Mahle said. “The first couple innings, I had all my pitches and was hitting pretty much any spot I wanted, but somewhere in there I lost it and couldn’t find the strike zone, and you can’t get behind in the count against a team like that.”
Mahle had a solid line considering his first start of the year, allowing four runs on six hits, two walks and three strikeouts through five innings.
The Bruins’ offense got started in the top of the third inning with some well-executed small ball. After a leadoff walk, freshman second baseman Trent Chatterton faked a bunt and pulled back for a swing to hit a single. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, a ground ball to shortstop by junior centerfielder Brian Carroll scored the first run of the game. Carroll’s RBI was followed by an RBI double by sophomore third baseman Kevin Kramer.
In the top of the fifth inning, UCLA went back to the same formula to manufacture two more runs. The Gauchos responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth inning. Sophomore second baseman Woody Woodward led the inning off by reaching base after being hit by a pitch. He advanced to second on a ground ball and scored on a single by sophomore left fielder Luke Swenson. Swenson advanced to second on a groundout and scored when junior catcher Jackson Morrow grounded a 0-2 pitch to the second baseman Chatterton, who let the ball get through his legs.
In the top of the sixth, the Bruins ran away with the game, scoring seven runs on four hits and an error by Santa Barbara.
Freshman Kenny Chapman replaced Mahle and quickly loaded the bases without recording an out. Freshman Domenic Mazza then came out of the bullpen to pick up for Chapman. Mazza fielded a grounder and recorded the out by going to the plate with the ball, but Morrow was unable to turn two after the runner’s slide disrupted his throw.
Moore then doubled down the right field line driving in two runs. Head Coach Andrew Checketts again went to his bullpen, bringing on freshman Connor Baits. Baits was touched up by Chatterton with an RBI single and a two-run double off the bat of Filia. After a walk and hit batter, a sac fly to center field turned into two runs when the throw got away from Morrow and Baits.
“Mahle gave us a competitive start, but the guys after that did not give us a chance,” Checketts said. “We are going to have to go back to the drawing board and figure out what was going on, but frankly it was embarrassing the way the young guys responded.”
Both teams would go on to score another run apiece leading to the final score of 12-3 after several players replaced the starters by the end of the game.
Next up for the Gauchos is another home weekend series against San Jose State.