Tough Series Opener for No. 7 UCSB

Carter Benbrook (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Carter Benbrook (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— A six-run seventh inning lifted visiting Oregon over No. 7 UC Santa Barbara Friday night as the Ducks took the series opener 7-6. The Gauchos saw their six-game win streak ended, dropping to 6-2 overall, while the Ducks improved to 3-2.

Zach Torra took the mound for his third start of the season and after allowing a home run on the first pitch of the game, really settled in. He tossed 5.1 innings, striking out eight batters and only allowing three hits and a walk. He came up in big moments and went the distance tossing over 100 pitches in another no-decision.

On the offensive side, Broc Mortensen and Cole Cummings each collected three hits with Mortensen going 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI. Gianni Bloom went 2-for-3 with a double in his start behind the dish and Marcos Castanon extended his hit streak to eight games.

Down 1-0 in the first, the Gauchos answered right away scoring two of their own in the bottom half. It was Mortensen collecting a 2 RBI single to centerfield that drove in Castanon and Cummings to give his team the 2-1 lead. Mortensen's next at bat in third resulted in another RBI single to make it 3-1.

UCSB added two more in the sixth with Bloom and Cummings notching RBI singles of their own to extend the lead 5-1.

Down four, the Ducks got exactly what they needed scoring six runs to regain the lead late 7-5.

Mortensen once again was there to answer in the bottom half of the inning cranking a solo shot over the right field wall to narrow the gap, but unfortunately for the Gauchos that would be their last score of the contest.

Carter Benbrook made an appearance out of the bullpen, entering in the eighth and only allowing one hit in 1.1 innings pitched. He would get in trouble in the ninth loading the bases with nobody out but would strikeout the next batter he faced. Conner Dand would take his place and retire the next two batters to escape the jam.

The Gauchos will look for their first win of the series in tomorrow's doubleheader, with aces Michael McGreevy and Rodney Boone taking the bump.