The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (21-19-1) could not come back against the California State University, Northridge Matadors (20-24) after giving up a two-run lead in the top of the fifth allowing the Matadors to take the first win of the series, 6-4.
Sophomore Tommy Jew started off the scoring for the Gauchos with a first inning homer down the right field line. The one run lead was short lived and the Matadors were able to tie the game an inning later with a homer of their own from senior Kevin Riley for his seventh longball of the season.
The Gauchos used two men on base in the bottom of the second to earn the team a 3-1 lead. Junior Michael McAdoo and freshman Drew Williams advanced to third and second on a throwing error by the Matador starting pitcher. Junior Sam Cohen sent a single to right field to bring Williams home while a sacrifice fly from freshman Jason Willow would score McAdoo for his 28th run of the year.
Freshman Brandon Bohning opened the third inning with an extra-base hit and junior Trevor Casanova would hit a sacrifice fly to bring Bohning home after he advanced to third during the previous at-bat. Casanova earned his 28th RBI of the season and brought his team to within one run of UCSB.
Sophomore Chris Lincoln started the game for the Gauchos and would only go as far as the fourth inning. With four hits allowed and two earned runs the right handed pitcher, did as well as he could in minimizing the damage from a couple of mistakes on the mound. The sub-five inning start is Lincoln’s first since a Mar. 17 appearance against Sacramento State.
The Matadors scored a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings to gain and pad their lead. Casanova came through for his team again and more specifically his teammate Bohning who would cross the plate again on his single to the right side. Senior Nolan Bumstead would single in Casanova in his at-bat before UCSB was able to get out of the inning down a run, 4-3.
Senior Alvaro Rubalcaba singled to right center to score senior Riley Conlan before Bohning would get an RBI of his own to score Rubalcaba, and put the tally at 6-3.
Junior Thomas Rowan would crush a ball over the right field fence in the bottom of the seventh inning for his third homer of the season. The longball put UCSB behind by two, but the deficit was too much to overcome and were not able to put any further damage on the CSUN starter.
Junior Walker Armstrong went the distance against the Gauchos, giving up four hits and three earned runs over nine innings pitched. The complete game is the right handers second of the season and the marathon effort was good enough to earn him his second win on the year. Despite getting into trouble early on in the game, Armstrong was extremely successful in being able to bear down and prevent UCSB from mounting enough momentum to try to make an attempt to take back the lead after giving it up.
The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos will play the Cal State University, Northridge Matadors on Saturday, May 5 at 2 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka stadium.