Bryce Willits hit his second home run in as many days and UCSB won its fifth straight game, 3-2 over UC San Diego at the Lake Elisnore Diamond Saturday.
All of the game’s scoring took place by the top of the second inning. The Gauchos drew first blood in the top of the first, when Zander Darby drew a lead-off walk and then scored on a double from Jordan Sprinkle.
After the Tritons scored two in their half of the first, Willits tied the score with a lead-off homer to right-center in the top of the second. That was followed by a triple from Christian Kirtley and an RBI single by John Newman Jr.
That 2-1 lead held the rest of the way, though the Gauchos stranded runners on base in the next five innings.
Starter Michael Gutierrez (2-1) picked up the win, 5.1 innings and allowing just two runs while striking out six. He scattered eight hits and three walks but continued to get out of jams as the Gauchos stranded nine Triton runners on the day.
Ryan Gallagher pitched 2.2 innings and Ryan Harvey pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
The 30th-ranked Gauchos, 10-4, open Big West Conference play next week, hosting Cal State Fullerton for a series beginning Friday at Caesar Uyesaka. Friday’s opener starts at 5:30 p.m.