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Gauchos Sweep Highlanders in Saturday Doubleheader

Rodney Boone (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Rodney Boone (Photo by Tony Mastres)

RIVERSIDE, Calif.— UC Santa Barbara claimed the weekend series with UC Riverside Saturday afternoon as the Gauchos took both games of the doubleheader. UCSB scored 26 runs on the day taking game one 14-3 and shutting out the Highlanders in game two with a 12-0 run-rule win.

Game One
Rodney Boone (9-4) took the mound for game one of the afternoon and did not disappoint collecting his ninth win of the season. He tossed 6.2 innings of one-run ball allowing just four hits and three walks. The sophomore southpaw collected 13 strikeouts giving him the conference lead over fellow sophomore Michael McGreevy with 105 on the season.

UCSB out-hit UCR 11-8 with 10 different players notching hits and eight different players posting an RBI in the game. Jordan Sprinkle went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, and both Jason Willow and Broc Mortensen notched a double.

The game was tied at 0-0 heading into the top of the third, but the Gauchos broke it wide open with a six spot that gave them an early lead. UCSB saw seven of its 11 hits land in the inning with Mortensen and Willow each cranking 2 RBI doubles.

In the top of the sixth the Gauchos pulled off a sly play sending Kirtley to second to bring on a pickle while Rodriguez scored to make it 7-0. UCR landed on the board in the bottom of the seventh to cut the lead 7-1.

Seven more runs came across in the final two innings for the visiting team to counteract a two-run bottom of the ninth from UCR and give the Gauchos the 14-3 win.

Game Two
The fifth shutout of the season came around in game two as the 2021 Gauchos moved into fourth place on the all-time shutout record. Cory Lewis tossed a complete-game seven-inning shutout allowing just two hits and a walk to UCR. He stuck out five and faced the minimum 21 batters.

Willow headlined on the offensive end going 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBI while Rodriguez wen 3-for-4 with a run and two RBI. Sprinkle added another pair singles and Mason Eng collected a multi-hit performance going 2-for-4.

Mortensen brought the first run around in the top of the first on a fielder's choice to knock in Rodriguez and give his team the 1-0 lead.

UCSB then scored one-plus runs in the next five straight innings to earn the run-rule win, posting three runs in the fourth two in the sixth, and four in the sixth. The Gauchos out-hit the Highlanders 15-2 with eight players collecting hits and five players notching a multi-hit effort.

Mortensen struck again in the top of seventh putting the run rule into place with a one-out grand slam to give him the conference home run lead with 13 on the season. 

UCSB will look for the series sweep tomorrow afternoon.