MALIBU, Calif.— A four-run seventh inning lifted No. 8 UCSB over host Pepperdine 7-6 Friday afternoon in the first game of the series between the Gauchos and Waves. A three-run blast from Marcos Castanon gave the Gauchos a late lead and proved to be the game-winning swing. Closer Chris Troye protected the team's one-run lead in the ninth earning his second straight save.
Zach Torra earned his second start of the season tossing four innings for the Gauchos and allowing four runs in his no-decision. Conner Dand was the first out of the bullpen tossing two innings of two-run baseball with three stirkeouts, earning his first win of the year. Connor Roberts tossed two innings of shutout baseball and Troye once again took over in the ninth striking out the side to win the game. The righty struck out the first Wave looking and dropped the next two swinging.
UCSB got on the board first as Jason Willow sent a ball over the leftfield wall to make it 1-0. It was the first of the year for Willow and the second by any Gaucho in the young season.
Two innings later, Chrisitan Kirtley found a solo shot of his own to help his team regain the lead at 2-1. Kirtley finished going 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run.
The Waves answered with a three-run fourth to take the lead 4-2, but the Gauchos were quick to respond scoring one in the sixth and four in the seventh to take a three-run lead.
Kirtley struck again in the sixth with an RBI double to center and McClain O'Connor continued his hot streak, opening up the seventh with an RBI single to tie the game. Two batters later Castanon stepped to the plate and ripped his first homer of the year with two runners on to give the Gauchos a lead that they would hold for the rest of the afternoon.
Two Waves scored in the bottom of the seventh to make it a one-run game, but that would cap Pepperdine's scoring efforts in the series opener.
Castanon, Kirtley, and Willow all collected two hits and combined for five of the team's seven runs and RBI.
The Waves will now head to Caesar Uyesaka for a Saturday doubleheader that begins tomorrow at noon.