Gauchos Best UC Davis 5-4 to Complete the Sweep

Broc Mortensen (Photo by Gabrielle Penner)
Broc Mortensen (Photo by Gabrielle Penner)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— UC Santa Barbara baseball completed its four-game sweep of UC Davis Sunday afternoon defeating the Aggies 5-4. It was a tight game throughout, with four lead changes and three ties, as each team found ways to quickly answer its opponent's scoring efforts.

The Gauchos now improve to a 15-7 overall record with a 6-2 conference mark, while the Aggies fall to 5-17, 0-8.

Zach Rodriguez was the hero for the Gauchos going 3-for-4 with two home runs and a single. His second blast tied the game for UCSB in the bottom of the eighth just after seeing the Aggies take their first lead of the day in the top half of the inning.

JD Callahan earned his first start of the season in the final game of the series, and had a fair outing tossing 5.1 innings of work. The freshman only allowed one run through the first five innings but would end the day with three earned, allowing just four hits and a walk.

Carter Benbrook (2-0) entered in the sixth and picked up his second win of the series tossing 2.2 innings and allowing just one run. Ryan Harvey took over in the ninth and collected his second career save, stranding an Aggie in scoring position with back-to-back strikeouts to end the game.

Rodriguez got things going in the second inning belting his first solo-shot of the day to give UCSB the early lead, but UCD responded with a run of its own in the top of third.

The two teams traded punches again in the fifth and sixth with the Gauchos scoring a pair on a wild pitch and a Jordan Sprinkle sac-fly, and UC Davis notching two runs of its own to ice the game at 3-3.

The Aggies earned their first lead of the contest in the top of the eighth, scoring their final run of the night to go up 4-3.

Rodriguez would lead off the bottom half with his second homer to stay alive and Bryce Willits would make the most of his plate appearance getting hit by a pitch to get aboard. A sac-bunt from Steele Ledford would put him at second, and an Aggie wild pitch stuck him just 90-feet away from home plate. Michael Marsh was next up collecting an RBI sac-fly to center to score the game-winning run.

The Gauchos will now hit the road as they are set to play a four-game series in Honolulu, Hawai'i with the Rainbow Warriors of UH.