SANTA BARBARA, Calif.– No. 27 UC Santa Barbara (29-13, 20-8) picked up the series win in its weekend finale defeating Cal Poly (20-20, 10-14) 12-3. A six-run first inning gave the Gauchos an early lead that they would hold onto throughout.
JD Callahan (3-2) was solid in his Sunday start tossing seven full innings and allowing just three runs, all of which came in the fourth inning. He sprinkled eight hits across the start, had no walks, and struck out six.
The offense got going early for the Gauchos who managed to put up a six-spot and bat around in the first inning on just three hits as they drew three walks and capitalized on a crucial Mustang outfield error. Cal Poly was one pitch away from ending the inning but disciplined at-bats by the Gauchos kept the inning alive.
With the bases-loaded Bryce Willits stepped to the plate and on a full count took a ball to the deepest part of the park for a bases-clearing triple, his third of the season. Another run came in on the next at bat as Steele Ledford reached on an error to make It 4-0.
Cal Poly managed to cut the deficit in half in the top of the fourth scoring three runs, but UCSB answered by scoring a pair of runs in each of the next three innings.
Broc Mortensen, a former Cal Poly football player, crushed a two-run bomb over the right field wall to extend the Gauchos' lead to 8-3 in the bottom half of the inning. Mortensen finished the day going 1-for-1 with four walks and two RBI, and now ranks second in the conference with 10 homers this season
Another long ball came in the bottom of the fifth as Willits drew a two-out walk and was driven in by a no-doubter from Willow to make it 10-3. Willow's bomb was the sixth by the Gauchos this weekend.
The final runs of the weekend came in the sixth as Christian Kirtley collected a two-out, 2 RBI single to extend the lead once more 12-3.
UCSB collected eight hits in the contest by seven different players. Willow notched the sole multi-hit effort going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI.
UCSB will now look next weekend's matchup as it welcomes first-place UC Irvine to Caesar Uyesaka.