SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— The UC Santa Barbara baseball team fell 5-2 in its home contest with No. 22 UCLA Saturday afternoon as the Bruins evened the series at 1-1. The weekend will now come down to Sunday's rubber match down in Los Angeles.
Rodney Boone took the mound for the Gauchos and had another solid afternoon tossing six innings of three-hit ball. He struck out six and had just two earned, but unfortunately earned his third straight loss.
UCSB got on the board first with Broc Mortensen crushing his 11th home run of the season to tie the conference lead. The Broc bomb went well over the right-center wall and gave his team a 1-0 lead.
UCLA repaid the favor just a half inning later as Kyle Karros collected a solo shot of his own to tie it at one apiece. The Bruins threatened again in the top half of the third putting a runner on third with just one out, but Boone managed to escape unscathed retiring the next two batters.
The expected pitcher's duel then settled in through the middle innings with neither team coming up with more than a pair of hits and a few walks through the four scoreless innings.
The Bruins took the lead for the first time in the top of the seventh hanging up the first crooked number of the night with a pair of runs to go up 3-1, but the Gauchos answered quickly in bottom half as Kyle Johnson notched a homer to left field on a two-out pinch-hit. A two-out rally ensued but the Gauchos couldn't bring any more home cutting the lead to 3-2.
UCLA put up two more in the top of the ninth to take the contest 5-2.
The Gauchos will now head back down to Jackie Robinson Stadium for the final game of the series. First pitch is set for 2:00 PM Sunday afternoon.