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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 4:16 pm | A Few Clouds 61º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank

Gauchos’ Ninth-Inning Rally Downs Pacific, 5-4

Come-from-behind win keeps UCSB perfect in Big West play.

Steve Cook’s two-RBI double in the top of the ninth inning catapulted UCSB to a 5-4 come-from-behind win against division rival Pacific on Friday night at Klein Family Field in Stockton.

UCSB (20-8, 4-0) entered the top of the ninth trailing 4-3. With one out, Patrick Rose’s infield single got things started. Freshman right fielder Mark Haddow walked in the ensuing at-bat, putting runners on first and second. That’s when Cook strolled to the plate and hit a 1-0 pitch from Tigers reliever Larry Holscher (1-3) into the left center field gap, scoring Rose and Haddow to put the Gauchos in front, 5-4. Zach Samuels (2-1) picked up the win pitching the final three innings of relief, slamming the door on the Tigers to secure UCSB’s victory.

Pacific (5-21, 0-4) took the lead in the top of the first when second baseman Adam Ching hit a solo shot off Gauchos starter Mike Ford to put the Tigers in front, 1-0.

Ford went six strong innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on nine hits, while striking out three and walking two. Friday’s outing marked the sixth time in seven starts that Ford pitched at least six innings.

UCSB struck back with one run in the top of the second courtesy of Chris McMurray‘s RBI single to left field.

The Tigers plated a couple runs in the bottom of the third on two hits. Joe Oliveira scored on a fielding error, and Brian Martin singled home Mike McKeever to give Pacifc a 3-1 lead.

The Gauchos countered with runs in the fifth and six. Rose scored on a balk in the fifth inning, while McMurray singled home Eric Oliver in the sixth to bring the Gauchos within one, 4-3. That score would remain until the fateful ninth inning.

In danger of dropping their first Big West Conference game, the Gauchos rallied off Tigers reliever Cole Akins in the ninth to keep their perfect conference record intact at 4-0.

Cook, a junior transfer from SBCC, and McMurray paced the Gauchos offensively, both going 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Rose went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Shane Carlson added a pair of hits in a 2-for-4 effort.

Click here for Friday’s official box score and play-by-play.

UCSB and Pacific square off again in Stockton at 6 p.m. Saturday.

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