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Baseball

UCSB Drops Opening Game of College World Series with 1-0 Loss to Oklahoma State

Shane Bieber pitched a solid game in UC Santa Barbara’s debut at the College World Series, but Oklahoma State’s Thomas Hatch was better.

In a terrific pitching duel, Hatch held the Gauchos to five hits and struck out seven in a 1-0 opening win for the Cowboys at Omaha’s TD Ameritrade Park on Saturday.

It was the fourth shutout of the season for the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year. He ended the game by striking out Austin Bush with a runner on base.

Oklahoma State scored the game’s only run in the fourth inning when Corey Hassel, Donnie Walton and Garrett Benge hit consecutive singles off Bieber. Benge’s hit drove in Hassel for the run.

Bieber and UCSB avoided further damage when shortstop Clay Fisher made a leaping catch of Conor Costello's, liner and completed a double play by getting Benge at second base. Bieber ended the inning by getting Dustin Williams to fly out to center field.

Bieber threw a complete game, giving up one earned run and six hits while striking out six. He didn’t walk a batter. After the fourth, he allowed only one hit and retired nine straight and 14 of the last 16 batters of the game.

UCSB generated some early scoring chances against Hatch. In the second, sophomore second baseman JJ Muno looped a one-out double into the left-center gap, then sophomore catcher Dempsey Grover followed by yanking a grounder through the left side to put runners on the corners. Kyle Plantier ripped a line drive right at OSU shortstop Donnie Walton and Hatch ended the inning by getting Josh Adams to look at strike three.

"I thought our guys battled really well," said UCSB head coach Andrew Checketts. "I thought they were in character early. Put some pressure on them a little bit offensively. I thought our at-bats early in the game were good. We couldn't string them together or capitalize on any of them. And then once they scored the momentum changed a little bit."

UCSB returns to action at the CWS on Monday in an elimination game against the loser of the Miami-Arizona game.

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