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Westmont Falls to UCSB, 6-3

Warriors pitchers cool Gauchos bats but ninth-inning rally comes up short.

Seven Westmont pitchers combined to hold UCSB to six runs on five hits Tuesday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium but the Warriors could muster only three runs of their own and lost, 6-3.

Senior Jonathan White started for the Warriors (7-15), giving up one run on one hit in two innings of work. White (0-3), who was charged with the loss, struck out two and walked one. The Gauchos’ Michael Martin (2-0) picked up the win.

UCSB (15-7) scored one run in the first inning off Eric Oliver’s RBI double. The junior first baseman would also figure into the Gauchos’ run in the sixth inning, scoring from third on junior shortstop Shane Carlson’s sacrifice fly to left.

Jonathan Sakoda, Keith Johnson and John Evan gave Westmont one inning each of work on the mound, allowing just one hit collectively while holding the Gauchos scoreless in the third, fourth and fifth innings. The trio produced two strikeouts and allowed one walk.

After UCSB freshman reliever Forest Cannon struck out the side in order in the top of the seventh, the Gauchos scored four runs — two earned — in their half of the inning off of reliever Brandon Downs, a senior from Ventura College and Ventura High. As a result, the Warriors faced a 6-0 deficit heading into the top of the eighth inning.

Junior right-hander Jason Roenicke took over on the mound for Cannon and duplicated his
performance in the top of the eighth. Westmont’s Max Gutierrez, a junior from Ventura College and Oxnard High, retired the Gauchos in order in the bottom of the inning.

Kyle Noe, Westmont’s freshman catcher from St. Joseph High in Santa Maria, led off the top of the ninth with a single to center field. Freshman Brent Meschuk, who had taken over duties in right field from freshman Terrell Wong, reached on a fielder’s choice that erased Noe. Meschuk moved to second when freshman center fielder Taylor Maddox was walked by right-handed reliever Zachary Samuels.

That brought up senior shortstop Anthony Martinez, who delivered an RBI single to left field to score Meschuk and advance Maddox to third base. Samuels then hit senior designated hitter Cody Chapman with a pitch to load the bases with one away.

Maddox was thrown out at the plate when junior second baseman Mark Boujikian tapped the ball back to the pitcher but the bases remained loaded for the Warriors. Freshman first baseman Colten Christianson then stepped to the plate and singled to center field to score both Chapman and Martinez. Both the Warriors rally and the game ended when freshman left fielder Charles Whitman grounded out to first.

Westmont will host No. 23 Biola (18-8, 10-7) at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Russ Carr field, then welcomes Concordia (10-10, 8-9) for an 11 a.m. Saturday doubleheader.

Ron Smith is Westmont College‘s sports information director.

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