After coming off a loss to California Baptist and ending their six-game winning streak, the Gauchos were looking to get back on the winning column heading into their three-game series against the UC Riverside Highlanders.
Sophomore right handed pitcher Matt Ager started things off on the mound for the Gauchos to kick off the series.
After two back-to-back wild pitches that resulted in runners on first and second, another wild pitch to junior Dominic Martinez, who initially struck out swinging, loaded the bases for the Highlanders.
With the bases loaded, junior Anthony Mata singled to third base, bringing home redshirt senior Jacob Shanks in which sophomore Jayden Lopez would add to the lead with a single to right field, bringing Martinez and junior Tyler Weaver across home plate.
Mata would eventually be brought home after a single by sophomore Jacob Badawi, ending the first inning on top of the Gauchos with a score of 4-0.
The offensive powerhouse of UCSB baseball would quickly fire back the next inning after sophomore Zander Darby hit his sixth home run of the season and freshman Corey Nunez tripling to right field who would quickly be brought home after a single by redshirt junior Jonah Sebring, cutting the deficit to two.
Heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, the Gauchos would go on to tie the game 4-4 after a single by Darby and an error by RHP Cruz Barrios resulted in Nunez reaching first who would advance to second after a wild throw put Darby and Nunez in scoring position. Sebring’s double into left center field would bring both Darby and Nunez across home plate.
The game would ultimately go into extra innings with the score still at four runs a piece.
With one out left to go in the bottom of the eleventh inning, the Gauchos chose to intentionally walk Martinez, putting Weaver in scoring position.
The Gauchos would quickly find themselves in a jam after a walk to Mata loaded up the bases for the Highlanders.
The following at-bat, junior Mason Grace, who pinch hit for Nick Poss, was walked which brought Weaver across home plate to secure game one of the three-game series with a final score of 5-4.
After a disappointing end to game one, the Gauchos came into game two with a vengeance with Christian Kirtley hitting a lead-off home run into right center field, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead.
With redshirt junior Jared Sundstrom in scoring position after hitting a double to right center field, a single by sophomore Aaron Parker would bring Sundstrom across home plate, heading into the bottom of the first with a 2-0 lead.
The Highlanders would quickly answer back after a home run to left center field by junior Anthony McFarland brought home Weaver and Shanks who both previously singled, taking a 3-2 lead over the Gauchos.
The Gauchos would respond the following inning after a double to left center field by Nunez brought sophomore LeTrey McCollum home who previously singled to third off a bunt.
With Nunez in scoring position, Sundstrom singled through the right side, bringing home Nunez and taking a 4-3 lead over the Highlanders.
Despite the Highlanders tying the game at 5-5 in the fourth inning, a four-run performance in the seventh inning by the Gauchos resulted in the series being tied at one game a piece.
With the 9-5 win from the previous game under their belt, the Gauchos were looking to take the series against UC Riverside.
The Gauchos started the game with Christian Kirtley and Zander Darby strolling over to first base who would both be put into scoring position after Sundstrom grounded out.
With both runners in scoring position, Sebring singled to left field, bringing home Kirtley and Darby and jumping out to an early 2-0 lead.
The Highlanders would tie the game 2-2 in the second inning after a double to left center field by sophomore Jacob Badawi brought Martinez across home plate who previously doubled down the left field line, and a single by Grace brought home Badawi.
The Highlanders would go on to record just two runs the rest of the game as opposed to the Gauchos impressive sixteen runs with half of them coming from the fifth inning.
The Gauchos took the series in Riverside with a season high of eighteen runs to the Highlanders four runs scored.
The Gauchos look to add to their two-game winning streak this Tuesday as they take on the Loyola Marymount Lions who currently lie in first place of the West Coast Conference.
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