SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— No. 25 UC Santa Barbara lost its first conference series of the season Sunday afternoon falling to No. 23 UC Irvine in the weekend finale 7-2.
JD Callahan earned the start for the Gauchos but would only go 2.1 innings allowing four earned on three hits and three walks. Conner Roberts followed him out of the bullpen tossing the next 3.1 and was solid early but would end up allowing three runs in the sixth. Conner Dand had an excellent outing tossing the final 3.1 innings and not allowing a single run. He struck out three including the final two batters in the ninth.
On the offensive end, the Gauchos nearly out-hit the Eater collecting eight singles. Zach Rodriguez led the way with his sixth three-hit game of the season going 3-for-4 and Gianni Bloom went 2-for-4 with both of the team's RBI.
The Anteater bats got going early in the top of the first taking a three-run lead and made it 4-0 with another run in top of the fourth.
The Gauchos scratched in the bottom half with Broc Mortensen reaching first on an HBP and making his way to second thanks to a sac-bunt from Steele Ledford. Bloom was the next to bat cranking an RBI single to center field to cut the lead 4-1.
Bloom struck again in the bottom of the fourth notching a two-out RBI single through the left side of the infield to score Bryce Willits and put the Gauchos within two at 4-2. Unfortunately the Eaters scored three more in the sixth to secure the win 7-2.
UCSB will now look to its Big West bye week where the Gauchos will play a home-and-home series with the Bruins of No. 25 UCLA.