Freshman Nick Vogt hit a two-out, pinch-hit, walk-off RBI single in the 10th inning to give the UCSB baseball team a 3-2 win over Illinois-Chicago on Friday night at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
“I was just trying to stay calm and hit something hard,” Vogt said. “You have to stay ready at all times and when your name is called step to the plate.”
Junior pitcher Connor Roberts (2-1) would enter in relief and toss the final 2.2 innings allowing just two hits to pick up the win.
Sophomore southpaw Rodney Boone started for UCSB and caught fire quickly, retiring the first six batters in order. He allowed a lead-off triple to begin the third inning, but stranded the runner by sitting down the next three Flames, all on swinging strikeouts.
Boone finished the night after completing 7.1 innings of work and limited the Flames to two runs on three hits, while striking out a career-high tying 12 batters.
The Flames got on the board in the first, turning a lead-off double in the fourth inning into a run after a pair of wild pitches to take the 1-0 lead.
The Gauchos broke through on the Flames’ starter Jacob Key in the seventh. With one out, sophomore Steele Ledford moved junior Jason Willow over to third base on a single through the right side to put Gauchos on the corners. Junior Gianni Bloom crushed a perfect sac fly to right field to tie the game at 1-1. Ledford then gave his team the lead on a Flame error.
The 2-1 lead was unfortunately short lived with UIC answering in the very next inning on a game-tying home run. The Gauchos threatened in the bottom of the eighth by loading the bases with two outs. But the Flames escaped unscathed.
In the tenth junior Marcos Castanon collected a one-out single that pushed sophomore Christian Kirtley over to second base. Willow grounded to short, but with the Gauchos running on the play the Flames were unable to turn a double play.
With two-outs, head coach Andrew Checketts elected to send in Vogt to pinch-hit and take advantage of a righty-lefty matchup. Vogt delivered, sending a walk-off single straight up the middle.