The UC Santa Barbara baseball team continued its dominance over the Big West Conference this past weekend as they swept the California State University, Northridge Matadors. With the sweep, the Gauchos are holding onto an 11-game winning streak. The team has now swept six straight conference opponents and has not lost against a Big West opponent since April 7, when they fell to UC Irvine. With this strong conference play, the squad sits atop the Big West standings. 

UCSB Baseball adds to its 11-game win streak after sweeping CSUN. Maddy Fangio / Daily Nexus

The first game of the series was not a close contest as the Gauchos controlled the game from the first pitch. UCSB scored quickly as an RBI double from senior infielder Jonah Sebring put his team up 1-0. In the next inning, junior catcher Aaron Parker doubled the lead with a sacrifice lineout. Two innings later, junior outfielder Ivan Brethowr hit a two-run home run to extend the lead to four. Sebring continued his solid day with a solo home run of his own to make the score 5-0. 

In the seventh inning, the Gauchos put the game away as they put eight runs on the scoreboard. In the inning, the team hit two home runs as junior outfielder Jessada Brown hit a three-run homer and Brethowr hit his second of the day. 

On the opposite side of the ball, the UCSB pitching and defense played a stellar game. Sophomore starting pitcher Ryan Gallagher continued his successful season with another strong outing. Gallagher retired the first 16 batters he faced out before allowing a Matador on base. Gallagher left the game, only allowing one run as he picked up his eighth win of the season. The final score of 14-2 set the tone for the rest of the series.

The second match of the weekend was much closer, but UCSB was victorious in the end. The Matadors were even able to take a 2-0 lead before the Gauchos took over. UCSB finally made it on the board in the fifth inning thanks to a sacrifice fly from Brown. The team was finally able to tie the game in the eighth inning. With the bases loaded, freshman infielder Jonathan Mendez got an RBI by forcing the pitcher to walk him. 

In the final inning, the Gauchos took their first lead of the game. With the game on the line, senior infielder Nick Oakley hit a two-run homer to take a 4-2 lead. The defense held on and UCSB was able to clinch their second win of the series. 

In the final game of the season, the Gauchos were able to secure the sweep after a miraculous comeback. This time, California State University, Northridge (CSUN) scored four unanswered runs to begin the game. However, just like the day prior, UCSB stormed back. In the fourth inning, Parker hit a solo home run to get the first run for his team. In the next inning, Brown hit an RBI to send Brethowr home and cut the lead to two. The Gauchos made it three consecutive innings with a run when Sebring scored via a wild pitch in the sixth inning. In the eighth inning, the Gauchos scored their final runs of the game, and it was enough to secure the win. Brown got an RBI walk in the inning while junior infielder Justin Trimble and junior infielder Zander Darby got RBI hits to make the score 6-3. This was the final score, as CSUN was unable to score again. 

Next, the Gauchos will travel back to Santa Barbara to finish up their season. They will play one more three-game series, this time against UC Riverside. The three games will be part of Senior Weekend for the program as they celebrate their graduating players. The games will be played from May 23-25, and each game will be available to stream on ESPN+.