The Gauchos (30-15 overall, 9-5 in Big West Conference play) responded in impressive fashion to Friday’s disappointing loss, scoring 10 runs on 14 hits to even the three-game series at 1-1. Hollands (6-2) faced only five batters over the minimum, scattering four hits across nine innings, while shortstop Shane Carlson went a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate.
UCSB got rolling in the bottom of the first inning as Carlson’s two-out RBI single into shallow right field gave the Gauchos an early 1-0 lead. With runners on the corners, third baseman Patrick Rose took a page out of Carlson’s book, dumping his own RBI single into shallow right. Then, with runners on the corners, Titans starter Daniel Renken balked on a pickoff move to first, allowing Carlson to score from third and Rose to advance to second. After one inning of play, UCSB held a 3-0 advantage.
Fullerton got on the scoreboard in the top of the second inning, courtesy of left fielder Gary Brown’s solo home run.
The Gauchos blew the game wide open in the bottom of the second, scoring four runs on two hits. With runners on first and second, cleanup hitter Mike Zuanich laced an RBI single to left center field, allowing Chris Fox to race around third for the fourth Gauchos run of the game. Then, with two out and two on, shortstop Carlson launched a three-run home run high into the Santa Barbara sky. Carlson’s fifth long ball of the season gave the Gauchos a six-run lead after only two innings.
UCSB scored again in the bottom of the fourth. With Carlson on first, Rose doubled into the left center field gap. Fullerton left fielder Gary Brown was unable to come up with the ball cleanly, allowing Carlson to glide home safely.
The Titans notched a single run in the top of the sixth on right fielder Erik Komatsu’s RBI single. The sixth inning was also the only inning in which Hollands allowed more than one Fullerton hitter to reach base.
UCSB wasn’t done scoring, as the offense pounded out two more runs on three hits in the bottom of the eighth. With one out and nobody on, first baseman Eric Oliver belted a solo shot, his second home run in as many days. Oliver’s fourth round-tripper gave the Gauchos a comfortable 9-2 lead. The inning would continue, however, as designated hitter John DeAlba’s sacrifice fly to deep right scored Zuanich from third.
Hollands was perfect after seven innings, mowing down the Titans in order in the bottom of the ninth to secure his first-career complete game. The redshirt freshman lowered his ERA to 2.97, while improving his already sparkling strikeout-to-walk ratio to 51-to-19.
Carlson had a monster day at the plate, going a perfect 5-for-5 with three runs scored, and four RBIs. Oliver scored three runs in a 2-for-3 performance, while Rose added an RBI with a 3-for-5 effort.
Click here for Saturday’s official box score and play-by-play.
UCSB and Fullerton wrap up their series at 1 p.m. Sunday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The rubber match pits Gauchos seven-game winner Chuck Huggins against Fullerton’s eight-game winner, Cory Arbiso.