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UCSB Sweeps St. Mary’s to Take Series, 3-1

Gauchos explode for 11 runs in 11-4 first-game win, ride pitching to 6-0 victory in second.

After dropping the series opener to St. Mary’s on Friday, UCSB stormed back to take Saturday’s doubleheader at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, 11-4 and 6-0. The Gauchos’ bats supplied the power in game one, while their arms led the way in game two.

The Gauchos (14-7) struck early and often in the opener, scoring 11 times on 10 hits. Designated hitter Chris Fox manufactured his own run in the first, reaching on a walk in the second at-bat of the inning. He proceeded to steal second and third bases, scoring on an Eric Oliver sacrifice fly in the ensuing at-bat.

UCSB batted around in the second inning, scoring six runs to break the game open. John DeAlba and Patrick Rose led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Senior catcher Matt McColgan followed with a monster three-run home run to deep left field, to put the Gauchos in front, 4-0. Consecutive singles from Brian Gump and Fox put runners on first and third. A critical throwing error from Gaels third baseman Michael Cipolla allowed Gump and Fox to score. Oliver grounded a ball to third with two out, but Cipolla’s throw was wide of first, allowing two runs to cross the plate and putting the Gauchos ahead, 6-0. Mike Zuanich‘s single scored the final run of the second inning.

McColgan doubled in his fourth run of the game in the bottom of the third, putting the Gauchos in front, 7-0.

St. Mary’s (13-7-1) got on the board in the top of the fifth, courtesy of a two-run home run from catcher Ian Gordon, who sent a 2-1 Chuck Huggins offering over the left field wall, to cut the score to 8-2.

UCSB countered quickly, scoring three times in the bottom half of the fifth, to extend the lead to 11-2. Steve Cook was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, to score the first run of the inning. That brought Gump to the plate, who doubled to right field, scoring McColgan and DeAlba.

Huggins (4-1) earned the win, going 5.2 innings, allowing four runs on four hits, walking four and striking out four. It was his fourth win of the season, most on the staff.

Senior Mike Martin came on in relief of Huggins, throwing 3.1 perfect innings to earn his first save. He allowed only one hit in the seventh, striking out three along the way.

McColgan paced the potent UCSB attack, going 2-for-3 with a double, home run, two runs scored and four RBIs. Gump went 2-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI. Fox stole three bases on the game in a 1-for-3 effort.

In game two of the doubleheader, redshirt freshman Mario Hollands shut down the Gaels through six innings, allowing no runs on five hits. His six strikeouts gave him 28 on the year in 30.1 innings pitched and he lowered his ERA to a spectacular 2.08 with Saturday’s gem.

Oliver’s sacrifice fly in the third inning scored the first Gauchos’ run of the game. Zuanich followed suit, delivering a sacrifice fly of his own, giving UCSB a 2-0 lead.

Cook, a transfer from SBCC, hit his first home run in a Gauchos uniform to lead off the fifth. Filling in for the injured Matt Valaika, Cook provided stellar defense at second base, making several difficult plays up the middle. On the ensuing at-bat, Fox showed his superior bat control, reaching first on a perfectly placed bunt down the third-base line. Zuanich drove in his second run of the game, and third of the day, with a double to right center. Zuanich would score later in the inning on a throwing error from Gaels shortstop Daniel Alcaire.

Gump’s RBI single in the sixth provided the Gauchos their final run of the game.

Junior transfer Zach Samuels came on in the seventh to close things out, inducing two groundouts and striking out one.

Zuanich paved the way, going 2-for-2 with one run scored, and two RBIs. Gump went 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI.

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

UCSB hosts Westmont at 2 p.m. Thursday.

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