Junior right fielder Brian Gump capped a five-run ninth-inning rally with a grand slam to straightaway center field, lifting UCSB to a 5-3 victory over Cal Poly on Sunday. The Big West Conference baseball showdown was played before 1,324 in Baggett Stadium on the San Luis Obispo campus.
Sophomore right-hander D.J. Mauldin replaced Mustangs starter Steven Fischback to start the ninth inning and struck out Mike Zuanich, the Big West’s home run leader with 12. But Shane Carlson singled, stole second and scored on a single up the middle by John DeAlba. Patrick Rose singled and, after pinch-hitter Chris McMurray struck out for the second out of the inning, Steve Cook walked to load the bases. Both DeAlba and Cook are junior transfers from SBCC.
Gump hit Mauldin’s first pitch over the 405-foot sign in center field for his fourth home run of the season.
With the win, UCSB beat Cal Poly in a three-game conference series for the first time in five years, two games to one, and improved to 29-13 for the season and 8-4 in Big West games. The Mustangs fell to 18-22 and 6-9.
Martin (4-2) earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief, allowing no hits and no walks. He was summoned from the bullpen after Cal Poly loaded the bases with nobody out in the eighth, but retired Brent Morel on a force play at the plate and induced Luke Yoder to hit into an inning-ending double play.
The loss went to Mauldin (4-5). Fischback tossed eight scoreless innings for the Mustangs, allowing just four hits with no walks and nine strikeouts.
Cal Poly had built its 3-0 lead with a run in the second inning and two more in the fourth.
Morel reached base on an error in the second frame and eventually scored on Wes Dorrell’s grounder to shortstop.
Morel also led off the fourth inning for Cal Poly and homered down the left-field line, his sixth of the year, to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. Cal Poly added another run in the inning as Dorrell doubled to left-center and Pat Pezet singled to right for the RBI.
Cal Poly’s six hits were spread out among six different batters. Gump finished with three hits, including a double and grand slam, as the Gauchos outhit the Mustangs, 8-6.
The Mustangs won the first game of the series Friday, 3-2, and UCSB won Saturday’s contest, 8-4.
Bill Mahoney is UCSB‘s assistant athletics director.