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UCSB Bests No. 22 UCLA 10-4 in Series Opener

Michael McGreevy (Photo by Kevin Cannon)
Michael McGreevy (Photo by Kevin Cannon)

LOS ANGELES, Calif.— UC Santa Barbara baseball bounced back in a big way Friday night heading south on the road and taking the series opener from No. 22 UCLA. The Gauchos gifted starting pitcher Michael McGreevy with a bounty of runs and the young righty returned the favor with 12 strikeouts as UCSB defeated the Bruins 10-4.

UCSB improves to 31-16 on the year while UCLA falls to 28-16. The Gauchos have now beaten the Bruins five straight times and hold a record of 5-2-1 against them in the Andrew Checketts era.

McGreevy (7-1) struck out 12 in 6.1 innings of work and allowed just one run on a solo homer in the fifth in his seventh win of the season. He collected two K's in four different innings and struck out the side in the fifth. 

Following him out of the pen was JD Callahan who allowed one run in 0.2 innings, and retiring the final three batters in a pinch was Conner Roberts. Roberts book-ended his inning with a pair of strikeouts to deliver the victory. 

The Gauchos got on the board early scoring a total of seven runs between the second and fourth inning, including a four-spot in the fourth. Jason Willow notched the first extra-base hit of the night for UCSB with a lead-off double in the second inning and quickly made his way to third on a sac-bunt from McClain O'Connor. Broc Mortensen gave his team an early lead with a sac-fly to make it 1-0.

Mason Eng and Cole Cummings led off the top of the third with back-to-back singles and Jordan Sprinkle moved them over on a sac-bunt in the next at-bat to give the Gauchos a pair of runners in scoring position. Zach Rodriguez made it 2-0 with a sac-fly to center field and Christian Kirtley extended it to 3-0 with an RBI single to center field.

In the fourth is when UCSB took full control as Eng collected a bases-loaded single to give his team another run and Cummings made it 5-0 with an RBI double to right field. Rodriguez knocked in two more on a 2 RBI single to left to give the Gauchos a 7-0 lead.

The Bruins finally got to McGreevy in the bottom of the fifth with Mikey Perez notching a solo home run to make it 7-1, but the Gauchos answered by hanging another crooked number in the sixth. Eng scored his third run of the night thanks to a Bruin error, and Kirtley notched an RBI single to left to score Cummings, extending the Gaucho lead to 9-1. Eng finished the day going 3-for-5, and five different Gauchos notched a multi-hit game.

Jason Willow capped off the evening with his seventh home run of the season as UCSB defeated UCLA 10-4. The Gauchos will look for the series win tomorrow at Caesar Uyesaka.