UC Santa Barbara’s baseball team played the No. 20 Oregon State Ducks on Feb. 24 and 25 in a 3-game series and came away with a 3-game sweep, scoring 6-2, 10-0 and 4-1.
On Friday, the Gauchos’ starter, junior pitcher Mike Gutierrez, escaped a mess early in the first inning as he stranded a runner on third with 1 out. Junior infielder Nick Oakley helped his teammate by making a SportCenter Top 10 play. Oakley looked like he shot out of a cannon as he made a diving play to save a run.
Two innings later, the Gauchos struck first as sophomore infielder Zander Darby hit a no-doubt home run to right field to score himself and teammate junior infielder Jonah Sebring, making it 2-0.
The Ducks threatened to score the next inning as they had runners on first and third base with 2 outs. Gutierrez defeated the threat by striking out the next batter looking to leave the score 2-0.
The Ducks soon found a way to score as they hit a 2-out RBI single to score one, making it 2-1. Gutierrez limited the damage by striking out the next batter swinging.
The Gauchos provided insurance runs for the relief pitchers as sophomore outfielder Ivan Brethowr hit a grand slam down the left field line, scoring Darby, Sebring and freshman infielder Corey Nunez, making the score 6-1.
The Gauchos took the opener of the series with the score of 6-2 as Gutierrez finished five and one-third innings pitched, allowing 6 hits, 1 run and 6 strikeouts and earned his first win of the season.
In the doubleheader, the Gauchos dominated on Saturday. In the day’s first game, sophomore pitcher Matt Ager threw 6 innings, allowing 2 hits, no runs, 9 strikeouts and his first win.
The Gauchos struck first as sophomore catcher Aaron Parker hit a single to make it 1-0 in the second inning.
The long ball continued as junior outfielder Jared Sundstrom hit a solo home run in the fourth, extending the Gauchos’ lead to 2-0.
UCSB played well on both sides of the game, as Oregon only had 2 hits throughout the whole game and didn’t score a single run. The Gauchos continued to pour it on the Ducks as they scored 10 runs to win 10-0.
Sundstrom and Parker had 3 hits each and 2 home runs each as they combined for 5 RBIs.
In the final game of the series, the Gauchos looked for the sweep as freshman pitcher Reed Moring took the mound for the Gauchos.
Moring held the Ducks scoreless in the first first inning, allowing his offense to strike first on the day again. Darby put the Gauchos on the board first, hitting a sacrifice fly to score junior catcher John Newman, Jr.
The Gauchos added some insurance runs as sophomore outfielder Justin Trimble got into one in the fourth inning. Trimble hit a 2-run home run making it 3-0 in favor of the Gauchos.
Moring later allowed his first run of the game off a double in the fourth inning but ended the fourth inning up 3-1.
Moring continued to work in later innings as he went six and two-thirds of innings pitched, 5 hits, 1 run and 6 strikeouts, earning his first win of the season and his college career.
The Gauchos completed the sweep with a score of 4-1. UCSB outscored the Ducks 20-3 on the weekend, making them look like a threat this season as Oregon is ranked No. 20 while the Gauchos are unranked.
The Gauchos look to head home for their home opener against Xavier University for a 3-game series March 3-5. First pitch times are set for 5:05 p.m. Friday, 4:05 p.m. Saturday and 1:05 p.m. Sunday.