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Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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Anorther Strong Outing by Stevie Ledesma Gets UCSB Over .500 Mark

The UC Santa Barbara baseball team got above .500 for the first time this season completing a sweep of Texas-Rio Grande Valley on Sunday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium

The Gauchos (14-13-1) used a strong first inning and solid performance from senior pitcher Stevie Ledesma to earn a 7-5 victory over the Vaqueros (16-16).

"The starting pitching was great all weekend and Willow looked fantastic at third all weekend, and we saw some good performances from guys all around that gives us confidence heading back into conference play," coach Andrew Checketts said.

Santa Barbara got going early as Michael McAdoo hit a two-RBI double in the first inning. McAdoo would finish the day going 2-3. Junior Thomas Rowan followed with his first home run of the season and his career, a three-run round-tripper to give UCSB the early 5-0 advantage.

"Rowan had a great day behind the plate and obviously with the big home run," Checketts said. "He's got a nice swing, nice power and we knew it was in there so it's nice to get him hot and provide some power for us."

The Gauchos would add one run in the fifth courtesy of an RBI double from sophomore center fielder Tommy Jew and one more run in the sixth thanks to an RBI single from Clay Fisher for a 7-0 lead through six innings.

Ledesma continued his hot streak as a starter, allowing no runs through the first six innings and just five hits. He gave up one more single in the seventh before ending his day.

"He was fantastic, he was in the strike zone and he really kept pounding it," Checketts said. "Stevie really picked us up with his performance with such a quality start and we needed it to get the sweep."

Freshman Ben Fariss struggled out of the bullpen, giving up two runs in the bottom of the seventh before he could register an out.

Sophomore Shea Barry finished out the seventh. He got into trouble in the eighth, however, as he gave up two singles and a two-RBI double, cutting the lead to just three runs.

The Vaqueros got one more run in the ninth before the Simi Valley sealed the deal.

UCSB will take on Loyola Marymount at 3 p.m. on Tuesday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

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