SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— No. 8 UC Santa Barbara earned its first win of the season Saturday afternoon, bouncing back to defeat visiting Santa Clara 9-6. Four Gauchos posted multi-hit games and McClain O'Connor collected his second straight three-RBI outing.
Sophomore pitcher Michael McGreevy took the bump for the Gauchos earning his first start of the season. The righty tossed five innings and only allowed two earned while striking out five. Ryan Harvey, Carter Benbrook, and Clayton Hall joined the relief efforts allowing one earned each.
After falling behind early yesterday, the Broncos claimed the first lead in Saturday's matchup scoring two in the third and one in the fourth to go up 3-0. The Gauchos would respond by getting their bats going in the bottom half of the inning.
The first three Gauchos to bat in the fourth all reached base safely, loading them up for Mason Eng. Eng wasted no time sending his teammates station-to-station with an RBI single to left to put UCSB on the board. Jason Willow then collected a bases-loaded walk, and O'Connor and Broc Mortensen followed with back-to-back RBI of their own to give the Gauchos a 4-3 lead.
The very next inning UC Santa Barbara hung another four runs on the board with a familiar cast as Eng, O'Connor, and Mortensen struck again and extended their team's lead to 8-3. The three combined for seven of the team's RBI.
Willow capped off the Gauchos' scoring efforts in the bottom of the sixth collecting his second bases-loaded walk of the game to make it 9-3.
The Broncos never regained the lead but did threaten in the final three innings scoring a run in each before dropping their first game of the season 9-6. The two teams tied in the hitting category with 12 apiece.
Bryce Willits, Nick Vogt, Christian Kirtley, and Cole Cummings all collected two hits in the game with Cummings posting an impressive 2-for-3 performance with a walk. Eight of the team's nine starters recorded hits and all nine reached base safely.
The rubber match is set for tomorrow at 1 PM, with southpaw Rodney Boone facing Santa Clara's righty Matthew McGarry.