MALIBU, Calif.— No. 8 UC Santa Barbara earned its sixth straight win Sunday afternoon defeating host Pepperdine 12-2 to sweep the four-game series. Freshman pitcher Cory Lewis was brilliant in his first career start tossing six shutout innings and earning the win
Lewis, who did not make a single appearance in the abbreviated 2020 season, has been nearly perfect in his two outings so far in 2021. The righty made his Gaucho debut in the first game of the season tossing three perfect innings and facing the minimum batters.
His first start was arguably more impressive as he collected seven of his first eight out by way of the strikeout and posted nine total on the day. He only allowed three hits and a walk in his six-inning shutout.
The man on the other side of the ball was Marcos Castanon who got it going early for the Gauchos. The second baseman hit a two-run shot to left in just the third at-bat of the game before striking again in the second on an RBI single to left field that gave his team a five-run lead. He would finish the day going 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs, and four RBI while extending his hit streak to seven games. He now holds a .462 batting average on the year.
UCSB put up six runs on the first two innings and six runs in the final four as the team out-hit Pepperdine 10-6. Ten different players collected hits and both Castanon and Bryce Willits went for multi-hit performances. Willits went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. McClain O'Connor notched two RBI on a hit and a walk.
Carter Benbrook was the first out the bullpen for the Gauchos tossing three innings of work and allowing just one earned while striking out four. The freshman got himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth allowing just one unearned run to score in the inning.
True freshman Hayden Hattenbach finished off the Waves in the ninth in his first ever collegiate appearance retiring all three batters in order.
Dating back to last season, the Gauchos have now won 14 of their last 15 games.
The next test for UC Santa Barbara comes this weekend as the Gauchos host Oregon for a four-game series.