SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— The Gauchos (9-2) completed the sweep Sunday afternoon defeating University of Illinois-Chicago 15-1. UCSB has now won four straight on the backs of solid pitching, timely batting, and consistent production from the entire lineup.
Sophomore Michael McGreevy was stellar in his third start of the season tossing seven full innings and allowing just a pair of hits and a pair of walks. An unearned run would score under his watch early, but the righty was able to maintain his composure and throw six zeros on the board to follow. He fanned eight batters in his second win of the season and his ERA continues to drop to what is now a team-best 0.42.
The lone run came in the very first inning for the Flames as they loaded the bases and scored on a Gaucho error, but this would conclude the weekend scoring for UIC.
From there an onslaught of consistent scoring by the Gauchos, who notched runs in five different innings, would ensue. Four runs would come midway through the game before UCSB posted 11 in the final two.
The lead change came in the third frame when senior shortstop McClain O'Connor collected an RBI groundout to tie it and sophomore Christian Kirtley crushed his second home run of the year to give his team the lead for good. O'Connor would finish the day going 2-for-6 with a run and three RBI, while Kirtley went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, three runs, and two RBI.
Sophomore Mason Marquez broke through with the lone score in the fourth on a well-struck RBI triple and fellow sophomore Kyle Johnson posted his first RBI of the day on a bases-loaded walk in the fifth to make it 4-1.
The Gauchos would hang their largest number yet on the scoreboard in the seventh inning, gashing the Flames for eight runs while batting around. 15 plate appearances would go down and Kirtley made the most of this opportunity posting a double and a walk in the very same inning. Sophomore catcher Mason Eng was the sole batter to not reach base safely simply because he did his job in collecting a perfectly hits sac-fly to center.
In all, UCSB found eight RBI, five hits, and four walks in the endless seventh to take a 12-1 lead.
Johnson put the exclamation point on the win in the eight sending his first homer of the year well over the right field wall to drive in two more. He would finish the day going 1-for-3 with two walks, two runs, and three RBI.
The 9-2 Gauchos will now prep for a quick turnaround and a tough opponent in top-10 ranked UCLA who comes to Caesar Uyesaka Tuesday night.