UC Santa Barbara Baseball took a trip down to Arizona to participate in the Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic. They scored 2-2 in the 4 games they played. The Gauchos faced off against Minnesota, New Mexico and Oregon State throughout the weekend.

In Game 1, the Gauchos were the home team of the exhibition against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Junior pitcher Mike Gutierrez would be the starting pitcher for the Gauchos.

Gutierrez, unfortunately, gave up a pair of hits which caused Minnesota to hit a sacrifice fly to score one. Gutierrez escaped any further damage, leaving the score 1-0 in favor of the Golden Gophers. 

Gutierrez forgot about the unideal start fast as he retired 10 straight batters, giving his offense a chance to tie and take the lead at any given time. 

After some dominant pitching from Gutierrez, the offense came through in the 4th inning as junior infielder Nick Oakley hit a triple down the right-field line to clear the bases and take the 3-1 lead. 

The Gauchos continued to pour it on as freshman infielder Corey Nunez, sophomore outfielder Ivan Brethowr and redshirt junior infielder Jonah Sebring earned RBIs to make it 6-1. 

Minnesota would not go down quietly as they scored six consecutive runs in the 6th and 7th inning. The Golden Gophers’ rally pushed them ahead 7-6 headed into the bottom of the 7th inning. 

UCSB responded quickly as Brethowr hit a home run to left field to tie the game up at 7. Sophomore outfielder LeTrey McCollum and Oakley followed up with their teammate as McCollum hit a single, and Oakley doubled him in to make 8-7 Gauchos.

The Gauchos added another run to their total before freshman pitcher Hudson Barrett would go out in the ninth to try and notch the save. 

The Gauchos continued to pour it on from there as they scored every inning from the 5th to the 9th. The score was 13-2 as freshman pitcher Frank Camarillo secured the last out on the mound. 

The Gauchos won 9-7 with Barrett earning the save and redshirt sophomore pitcher Brady Huddlestun earning the win. Starting pitcher Gutierrez went 5 innings pitched, allowing 2 runs, 5 hits and 8 strikeouts.

For Game 2, the Gauchos were the home team again against the New Mexico Lobos, where sophomore pitcher Matt Ager started for the Gauchos. 

Both offenses were quiet until Ager found himself in trouble in the 3rd inning. The Lobos loaded the bases before they hit a 2-run single to make the score 2-0. New Mexico added another on a wild pitch making it 3-0 before Ager struck out the next 2 to end the inning. 

Ager got comfortable again as he held the Lobos scoreless for the next 3 innings as the score remained 3-0 heading into the 7th inning. Redshirt senior outfielder Broc Mortensen then put the Gauchos on the board in the 7th as he hit a home run to center field. 

The score remained the same for the rest of the game as the Gauchos lost 3-1, and Ager went for 6 innings, 4 hits, 3 runs and 10 strikeouts. 

In Game 3, freshman pitcher Reed Moring started for the Gauchos as they played as the away team against Minnesota. 

The Gauchos striked first as redshirt junior outfielder Jared Sundstrom hit a 3-run home run bringing in Oakley and Brethowr, making it 3-0. The Golden Gophers responded quickly as they hit their home run, but it was only a 2-run making it 3-2. 

Moring went 3 innings, 3 hits, 2 runs and 2 strikeouts but did not win, as Huddlestun earned his second win of the classic.

For the last game of the classic, it was a game to forget the Gauchos. UC Santa Barbara played Oregon State as the visitors, with freshman pitcher Tyler Bremner on the mound for the Gauchos. 

Bremner had a rough opening college start as he gave up 8 runs in the first 3 innings as the Gauchos went down 8-0 going into the fourth. The Gauchos ran out of steam on the offensive side as well, as they had some chances but didn’t capitalize on them.

The game ended early due to the NCAA run rule, giving the Gauchos a 11-0 loss. The Gauchos finished 2-2 in the classic, where they showed flashes of being a great team. After this, they headed home for the home opener against the Oregon Ducks on Feb. 25. 

A version of this article appeared on p. 8 of the Feb. 23, 2023 print edition of the Daily Nexus.