UCSB baseball continues its roll after winning its fifth series in a row against Big West opponents, defeating Pacific on Friday and Sunday this weekend, but missing the sweep as the Tigers out pitched UCSB on Saturday.
With the two wins this weekend, the Gauchos move to 31-22 on the year and 14-10 in the Big West. Pacific, on the other hand, now falls to 14-36 and 6-18 in conference play.
On Friday afternoon, the Gauchos crushed Pacific 12-1. UCSB put together a complete win as the offense cranked out 12 runs on 12 hits and sophomore starting pitcher Austin Pettibone continued his dominance, pitching eight strong innings.
“The pitching was outstanding this weekend,” Head Coach Andrew Checketts said. “Pettibone was outstanding on Friday.”
Pettibone earned his eighth win of the year with eight innings of one run ball. He allowed just five hits on the day and struck out four.
The offense was led by a huge day from sophomore second baseman Woody Woodward, who drove in five runs on two hits and scored a run. Woodward got his afternoon rolling in the bottom of the third inning. With the bases loaded, Woodward singled into right center field to plate the first two runs of the game.
Sophomore first baseman Tyler Kuresa also drove in two runs with his fourth home run of the season in the bottom of the seventh.
On Saturday, the offense was unable to reproduce Friday’s success as the Tigers captured a 3-2 win over the Gauchos. Junior starting pitcher John Haberman earned the win, throwing seven and a third innings and allowing just two runs while striking out five.
Freshman pitcher Robby Nesovic also pitched well, but took the loss, going six and a third and allowed three runs.
Pacific got on the board first with a lead off single and two productive outs to lead to the run on sophomore center fielder Tyler Sullivan’s base hit.
Both starting pitchers cruised until the seventh where they each ran into some trouble. Nesovic was touched up for two more runs on a string of singles off both Nesovic and sophomore reliever Greg Mahle.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Gauchos scored their first run on an RBI single by Nesovic. In the eighth the Gauchos, who have become notorious in recent weeks for their comebacks, mustered a rally for one run, but junior shortstop Brandon Trinkwon bounced into an inning ending double play and the Gauchos fell 3-2.
In Sunday’s home finale, the Gauchos put a seven spot on Pacific. UCSB wasted no time as they put up three runs in the bottom of the first with four consecutive singles.
With the early lead sophomore starting pitcher Andrew Vasquez settled into one of his best starts of the year. Vasquez threw seven and a third shutout innings with five strikeouts en route to his second victory this season.
In his home finale, senior third baseman Marc Venning doubled and also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly helping his team to take the victory 7-3.
“I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Venning said. “We needed to win this one; obviously all these games are important now.”
Next up for the Gauchos will be a trip to UCLA on Tuesday.
A version of this article appeared on page five of May 20th’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.
Photo by Mark Brocher of the Daily Nexus.