No. 20 Gauchos Grab Two Wins on Saturday

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

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.‑ The No. 20 UC Santa Barbara baseball team earned a pair of wins over visiting University of San Francisco on Saturday afternoon. After seeing game one of the series postponed, the Gauchos and Dons finished out the first contest Saturday morning, with the home team taking it 9-8 in the 14th inning. UCSB closed the day with a 15-3 home win in seven innings.

Zach Rodriguez went 4-for-6 on the day and Jason Willow, Jordan Sprikle, and Cole Cummings all notched four hits over the two games.

GAME ONE
The first contest between the Dons and the Gauchos began on Friday but trickled into Saturday as the original contest was called in the fifth due to lightning.

The two teams picked up where they left off at 1 PM, Saturday but the Gauchos would see the game extend to 14 innings for the first time since 2016, when a Jason Willow single brought Marcos Castanon home to end things in favor of the home side.

USF took potentially game-winning leads in the ninth, 11th, 13th and 14th innings, but wasn't able to close things out as UCSB found an answer each step of the way. A Cole Cummings solo homer in the ninth tied things at 4-4.

Later, a Jordan Sprinkle double to right brought Steele Ledford home to bring UCSB level at 5-5 in the 11th.

Following a two-run single by USF's Luke Keaschall in the 13th, the Gauchos tied the game via a double by Jordan Sprinkle and a triple by Michael Marsh. Kyle Johnson and Sprinkle scored the rus to bring UCSB level at 7-7.

The Dons took the lead back on a sac fly in the 14th, but UCSB answered by loading the bases en route to a 9-8 win. A Kyle Johnson walk would tie things at 8-8 before a Jason Willow single brought home Castanon to clinch the walk-off victory.

GAME TWO

Saturday's second game would follow an entirely different path with UCSB jumping out to an 8-0 lead through two innings.

Castanon started things with a solo homer in the bottom of the first. A Bryce Willits collected a  walk with the bases loaded doubled the lead as Broc Mortensen scored to make it 2-0.

The team followed with six in the second, four in the third, and two in the final three innings to take game two.

Michael McGreevy tossed 5.1 innings of work earning his second win of the season with Jorge Arellano Jr. and Cooper Rons both making perfect appearances out of the pen.

UCSB will look for the sweep in the third game of the weekend, Sunday afternoon.