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UCSB Pounds Out Sweep of Marist

After starting the season 3-0 at home, Gauchos head to Westwood to face No. 1 UCLA.

UCSB completed a three-game sweep of Marist by winning both games of Saturday’s doubleheader in convincing fashion at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The Gauchos won the opener, 8-4, and took the second game, 13-4.

Redshirt freshman Mario Hollands pitched beautifully in his first collegiate start, while the UCSB offense provided more than enough run support in game one. Hollands pitched six strong innings, allowing only three hits while striking out eight and walking none.

The lanky southpaw allowed just one Marist runner past second base, while using a four-pitch repertoire — fastball, curve, slider and changeup — to silence the Red Fox offense.

UCSB (3-0) scored five runs in the fourth inning, chasing Marist starter B.J. Martin from the game. An RBI groundout by Mike Zuanich scored Chris Fox for the first run of the game. With one out, John DeAlba laced a 3-2 offering from Martin down the right field line, scoring Eric Oliver. DeAlba, a former Santa Barbara City College star, wound up with a triple, one of three in the game for the Gauchos. Shane Carlson followed, tripling into the left centerfield gap, scoring DeAlba and Chris McMurray. The final run of the inning came when Carlson scored on a Marist throwing error.

In the fifth, Fox tripled and scored on a Zuanich single up the middle. A McMurray solo home run and a Fox RBI single in the sixth put the Gauchos up 8-0.

The Red Foxes (0-3) countered in the eighth inning with three runs of their own. An error, a walk, and a three-run home run by pinch hitter Ben Henderson put Marist back in the game, but it wouldn’t be enough.

Senior Michael Martin came on in the ninth and allowed one run, but induced Henderson to ground out to first base to end the game, securing the 8-4 victory.

Chuck Huggins took the mound in the second game. Not to be outdone by his staff mates (Hollands and Mike Ford), Huggins pitched five innings and struck out eight while allowing only two earned runs. It was the senior’s seventh career victory.

Brian McDonough hit a two-out, two-run home run in the first to give Marist an early lead. However, it would be the only two runs surrendered by Huggins all day as the crafty left-hander settled down.

The Gauchos offense exploded for five runs in the bottom half of the first, quickly erasing the two-run deficit. A throwing error allowed Patrick Rose to score the first run of the game for UCSB. Aided by a strong wind blowing out to left, Zuanich and Carlson each belted two-run home runs off Marist starter Stephen Peterson to put the Gauchos ahead for good, 5-2. Peterson would not make it out of the second inning, allowing five earned runs on six hits in 1.1 innings of work.

The unrelenting offense scored one run in each of the next four frames, and burst out in the sixth for an additional four runs. Freshman Mark Haddow opened the inning with a single through the left side, his first hit as a Gaucho. Shortstop Matt Valaika followed with a single, putting runners on the corners. With one out, freshman Bryce Tafelski ripped a two-run double down the left field line, the former Santa Ynez High star’s first hit as a Gaucho as well. Two two-out RBI doubles from Brian Gump and Robby Cummings put the Gauchos ahead, 13-4.

The game was called due to darkness after senior Kyle Brown put the game on ice by pitching a perfect top half of the seventh.

UCSB hit .369 as a team, amassing 30 runs, six doubles, three triples, four home runs, 25 RBIs, and 10 steals in the three-game series. The Gauchos won Friday’s opener, 9-0.

The Gauchos travel to Westwood on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. game at No. 1 UCLA.

Scott Flanders is UCSB‘s associate media relations director.

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