Santa Barbara, Calif.— The UC Santa Barbara baseball team collected in fourth straight win and second shutout of the season Friday night as the Gauchos blew by Abilene Christian 7-0 in game one of the weekend series. A trio of Gaucho pitchers chipped in for a shutout by committee and another outstanding performance by Marcos Castanon helped will UCSB past ACU.
Sophomore southpaw Rodney Boone took the bump for UCSB redeemed himself from his opening day performance tossing 5.2 innings and only giving up two hits, while striking out eight. He faced 21 batters and only allowed five to reach safely on his way to his first win of the season.
Conner Roberts came in relief tossing 2.1 innings and continued his hot 2020 start allowing just one hit and no walks. Josh Candau finished off the game going three up-three down in the ninth.
The UCSB offense followed up an incredible 17 run performance earlier in the week, with another impressive showing outhitting the Wildcats 9-3. Three of the nine hits went for extra bases and the Gauchos added four walks and six RBI as a team.
The scoring got going in the bottom of the 3rd, where despite already having two outs the Gauchos still managed to turn a profit. Senior shortstop McClain O'Connor managed to reach first on a Wildcat error before being moved over to third on a single by sophomore Cole Cummings. With two aboard, UCSB's top hitter of the young season, Castanon, stepped to the plate and ripped his second homer of the year to left field to put his team up 3-0.
Another run came across in the very next inning when Steele Ledford, who was coming off a career performance against Cal, put a ball into to plate with the bases loaded and drove home Kyle Johnson make it 4-0.
Castanon made it 5-0 in the 6th with an RBI dingle to left that drove in O'Connor to cap off an incredible day at the plate. The junior second baseman went 3-for-5 with a home run, four RBI, and a run.
O'Connor was another Gaucho to see an excellent day offensively and put an ex claymation point on the win in the 8th inning with a two-run homer to complete UCSB's scoring efforts. The vet ended with a homer, three runs, two walks, and two RBI.
Game two of the series is slated for tomorrow at 4 p.m., weather permitting.