SACRAMENTO, Calif.— The first win of the 2020 season came in extra innings for the UC Santa Barbara baseball team as the Gauchos topped Sacramento State 1-0 in 11 innings Saturday afternoon. Sophomore Mason Eng notched the game winning RBI double in the top of the 11th to compliment a lights out performance from the pitching pair of juniors Zachary Torra and Conner Roberts.
Torra earned the start for the Gauchos and did not disappoint in his Division I debut holding the Hornets scoreless in six innings of work. He would allow just three hits while striking out seven before handing the ball over to Roberts. Roberts closed the game and picked up his first career win tossing five shutout innings, fanning eight batters, and allowing just one hit.
UCSB out hit the host Hornets 9-4 posting five doubles on the day but the Sac State pitching medley continuously found their way out of innings unscathed. The Gauchos threatened to get on the board in several innings, including a prime opportunity in the ninth that saw two runners on with just one out, but even then the Hornets pulled through.
The Gauchos overcame the Hornet staff in the 11th led by sophomore first baseman Kyle Johnson who notched a one-out double to right field to cap off a 3-for-5 performance and get into scoring position. One out later Eng stepped to plate and drove Johnson home on a double of his own to left field that all but sealed the win for UCSB. This game winner was just Eng's second career hit.
The rubber match between the Gauchos and Hornets is set for tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m.