Christian Kirtley went 3-for-3 and drove in three runs to support the solid pitching of Rodney Boone in a 5-4 win over Hawaii in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday in Honolulu. The Gauchos dropped the nightcap, 6-5.
UCSB is now 8-3 in the Big West and 17-8 overall, while Hawaii is 4-7 and 12-9
Boone struck out a season-high 11 in seven innings to earn his fifth win of the season. He allowe three runs on four hits.
Carter Benbrook finished off the final two innings to earn his first save of the season.
UCSB jumped out to a commanding 5-0 lead through five innings. Zach Rodriguez singled in Jordan Sprinkle in the first inning,
The Gauchos doubled their lead in the second courtesy of a Gianni Bloom RBI to bring home Kirtley.
In the third, Broc Mortensen led off with a walk and Rodriguez followed with a single through the right side. With two outs, Kirtley singled to left to score both runners and make it 4-0.
A Kirtley sac fly in the fifth brought in Bryce Willits, who led off the inning with a double.
Jacob Igawa got Hawaii’s offense going with a three-run homer in the sixth
Another Rainbow Warrior run in the eighth made it just a one-run game. However, Benbrook struck out all three batters in the bottom of the ninth to close out the game.
In the second game, the Gauchos jumped out to a 4-0 lead after 1 1/2 innings. But Hawaii score four runs in the bottom of the second and single runs in the fourth and fifth to take the lead.
UCSB made it a one-run game in the seventh with Kirtley hitting RBI single through the left side to make it 6-5.
The Gauchos had bases-loaded with two outs in the ninth but couldn’t get a runner across as Hawaii earned its first win of the series.
Freshman Cory Lewis started for UCSB but would exit in the third with four earned on four hits. Conner Roberts took the decision.