Ben Brecht tossed seven-plus solid innings and Tommy Jew had another strong game at the plate to lead the UC Santa Barbara baseball team to a 7-4 victory over Tulane on Friday night in New Orleans.
Brecht, a 6-foot-7 junior left-hander, allowed two runs on just three hits with 11 strikeouts and two walks in 7 1/3 innings to earn his second win of the early season.
“This is clearly the best seven-inning performance he’s had as a Gaucho,” UCSB coach Andrew Checketts said. “He was giving up some hits on some off-speed pitches early in the game … so he went to more fastballs and was able to establish that and speed them up a little more. Later in the game, he was able to land more of his off-speed pitches to keep them honest, and then went after them with a good fastball.”
Jew upped his average to .313 by going 3-for-6. He also had two runs batted in, with his first coming in the fourth on a squeeze bunt that made it 4-0 UCSB.
The Gauchos opened the scoring with three runs in the third on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Martinez and a two-run single by Armani Smith. Jew also made the defensive play of the game, according to Checketts, in the eighth inning when he scaled the center-field wall to make a catch that ended the inning after the Green Wave had scored four in the frame.
“He made an unbelievable play up against the wall,” Checketts said. “I couldn’t tell if the ball was going out of the ball park or if it was going to be off the top of the wall, but he ran into the wall and made a tremendous catch in the eighth to stop their rally.”
UCSB’s hottest hitter so far this season, junior catcher Eric Yang, was 2-for-3 with a run batted in and two walks. Yang improved his average to .463 (19-for-41).
Yang made it 5-0 with an RBI single in the fourth. Jew followed with a run-scoring single in the fifth and Jason Willow made it 7-0 in the sixth when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
UCSB improved to 9-2, while dropping Tulane to 10-4.
“To come in here and get a win on Friday is big,” Checketts said. “(Tulane) has been playing well. They’re hitting .330 with 16 home runs coming into the series. So to have our guys be able to fly across the country and come out and play well tonight … it was a quality win.”
The Gauchos continue the series at Tulane, tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. PST.