UCSB split its doubleheader with Loyola Marymount on Saturday in Westchester, losing the first game, 6-3, in seven innings, but winning the second, 6-2. A total of eight errors between the two squads led to seven unearned runs on the day.
Redshirt freshman Mario Hollands was saddled with the first-game loss, his first as a Gaucho. He pitched 5.1 innings, allowing five runs, three of them earned, on eight hits, striking out four and walking three. Three Gauchos errors didn’t help matters.
LMU starter Mike Kenney earned the win, going 5.2 innings, allowing three runs, one earned, on five hits, striking out one and walking one. It was Kenney’s second win on the year.
The Lions struck first in the bottom of the first on a Sean Dovel single to left field, which scored A.J. LaMonda from third. LaMonda had reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to third on two consecutive balks by Hollands.
Down 1-0 with two out in the top of the second inning, Shane Carlson started a three-run Gauchos rally with a double down the left field line. Shortstop Matt Valaika followed with a walk. Senior backstop Matt McColgan singled to the left centerfield gap, scoring Carlson and advancing Valaika to third. Brian Gump stepped to the plate and hit a ball to the right centerfield gap. The ball glanced off centerfielder Angel Songco’s glove, allowing McColgan and Valaika both to score on the play.
A single, two doubles, a sacrifice fly and a throwing error allowed the Lions to score three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning, regaining the lead 4-3.
Two Gauchos throwing errors in the sixth lead to two unearned LMU runs, extending the Lions’ lead to 6-3.
Lions sophomore Xavier Esquivel came on in the seventh to close out the game, striking out one in a perfect innings work.
Eric Oliver was the only Gaucho with a multihit game going 2-for-4, as UCSB collected just five hits. McColgan went 1-for-3 with one run scored and an RBI.
For Loyola Marymount, Dovel went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, while shortstop Kyle Spraker led the Lions attack, going 2-for-3 with a double, a stolen base and two runs scored.
UCSB took advantage of four LMU errors in the second game of the doubleheader as senior Michael Martin picked up his first victory in more than a year to lead the Gauchos to a 6-2 victory.
Martin pitched 5.2 innings, allowing one run on four hits, walking three and striking out one. It was also his longest outing in two years, after he went down with an injury in just his second appearance in 2007.
LMU starter Martin Viramontes struck out a career-high 13 batters, but was punished by a Lions error in his 6.1 innings of work, picking up his first loss. He allowed four runs, only two earned, on seven hits, walking one. It was the second consecutive day that a Lions starter struck out a career-high.
LMU scored a run in the bottom of the first inning on Ryan Wheeler’s bases-loaded groundout. Wheeler hit the ball to Valaika at short who flipped to Carlson at second for the force-out, as Jonathan Johnson scampered home on the play. The Gauchos pitching staff would shut down the Lions for the next seven innings, finally allowing a single run in the ninth.
The Gauchos answered quickly, much like the first game, by scoring a run in the top of the second. With one out, John DeAlba tripled to deep right center. Carlson’s sacrifice fly to centerfield scored DeAlba, a former SBCC star, tying the game at 1-1.
Carlson singled home Oliver in the fourth inning to give the Gauchos their first lead of the game, 2-1. Continuing his impressive day, Carlson drove home Mike Zuanich with his second sacrifice fly of the game in the sixth inning, pushing the Gauchos lead to 3-1.
A disastrous seventh inning in the field for the Lions allowed the Gauchos to score two more runs. Gump’s bunt single up the third baseline chased Viramontes from the game. Reliever Ernie Cho came on for LMU but a Patrick Rose groundout advanced Gump to second. Gump then scored on a misfired pick-off attempt, resulting in a two-base throwing error by Cho. Oliver followed, reaching base on a throwing error by Lions shortstop Kyle Spraker. Zuanich followed with a smooth single to right field. A fielding error by right fielder Andrew Irvine allowed Oliver to advance to third and Zuanich to second. Cho then threw a wild pitch to the backstop, allowing Oliver to cruise into home uncontested, extending the Gauchos’ advantage to 5-1.
Valaika scored on an RBI double by Gump in the following frame. Jason Roenicke closed out the game in a shaky ninth inning in which the Lions loaded the bases, but only managed to score one run off the former Cuesta College star.
Carlson paced the Gauchos’ offense with three RBIs in a 1-for-3 effort. Gump, batting leadoff for the first time this season, went 3-for-5 with a run scored, one RBI and two stolen bases.
The Gauchos resume play at noon Sunday, finishing up Friday’s game, which is tied, 6-6, in the ninth inning. Chuck Huggins takes the mound for the Gauchos in the regularly scheduled series finale at 1 p.m.