SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— No. 25 UC Santa Barbara was bested in both games of its Saturday doubleheader with No. 23 UC Irvine dropping game one 5-1 before falling 6-0 in game two to end the day. The Gauchos will look to even the series in tomorrow's finale.
Despite another incredible performance on the mound for sophomore Rodney Boone (8-3), the Gauchos could not get it done in game one of the doubleheader failing to supply the necessary run support to preserve the gem. Boone tossed 7.1 innings of work allowing just two earned while striking out seven and took a no-hitter into the fifth inning.
The sole run of the game came across in the bottom of the fourth for the Gauchos as Jason Willow punched a single through the left side to get aboard and was brought in on McClain O'Connor's second double of the game. It was a perfectly designed hit-and-run play with O'Connor dropping the ball just inside the left field line. He finished the day a perfect 2-for-2 with two doubles and the early go-ahead RBI to make it 1-0.
After hanging up seven-straight zeros, the Anteaters finally scored on Boone with Thomas McCaffrey collecting a solo home run in the top of the eighth to tie it 1-1. Out came Boone and the Gauchos would use three more pitchers in Conner Roberts, Hayden Hattenbach, and Clayton Hall to finish off the inning. Four more Eaters would score under their watch giving UCI the 5-1 win.
Seven different players accounted for UCSB's eight hits.
Cory Lewis (4-3) tied his career-high of 11 strikeouts as the Gauchos' starter in game two, but once again his offense could not supply any run support. He tossed 6.1 innings and allowed just three runs on six hits and no walks.
Nick Welch followed him in the bullpen and had an excellent showing tossing the retiring the final seven batters of the game, five of which went down by way of the K. Those five strikeouts are a career-high for the young Gaucho.
Kyle Johnson entered as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the sixth collecting the first hit of the game for UCSB and Broc Mortensen hit a ninth-inning single. Jordan Sprinkle reached on a walk and stole his 20th base of the year to extend his Big West lead.