Friday, July 20 , 2018, 9:54 am | Overcast 66º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with The Lab and American Riviera Bank
The LabAmerican Riviera Bank

UCSB Drops Opener Against Kentucky’s 6-11 Pitcher, 2-1

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Despite an 100-pitch, complete-game effort from ace Noah Davis, No. 23 UC Santa Barbara was narrowly defeated by Kentucky, 2-1, in Friday's series opener at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Davis, a sophomore right-hander, was extremely effective except for one bad inning, as UK (5-5) got to him for a pair of runs and three hits in the third. In his other seven innings, the Gauchos' Friday starter combined to allow just a pair of singles, both in the seventh. 

After his two-run third, Davis went on to retire 15 of the final 18 batters he faced. 

Unfortunately for Davis, who dropped to 2-1 on the year, UCSB's offense failed to get anything going against Wildcats' starter Sean Hjelle, a righty who stands a towering 6-11. 

The Gauchos' lone run off Hjelle came in the fourth, as reigning Big West Field Player of the Week Colton Burnsled off the frame with a single then came around to score after advancing on a groundout, a pickoff throwing error from Hjelle, and a passed ball from catcher Troy Squires. 

That run halved Kentucky's lead, but it turned out that was the end of the day's scoring.

UCSB only got a runner into scoring position in one more inning for the remaider of the game, as junior second baseman JJ Muno led off with a bunt single in the eighth and then advanced to second on a sac bunt. 

A golden opportunity for the Gauchos to tie the game turned sour quickly, as reliever Colton Cleary came in and struck out Burns, with Squires gunning down Muno trying to steal third to complete a double play. 

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >