Caesar Uyesaka Stadium became a launching pad for the UCSB baseball team on Sunday.
The Gauchos blasted four home runs and two triples and routed Cal State Northridge, 14-5, to take the rubber game of the three-game Big West series and rebound from their first loss in 12 games.
Jared Sundstrom belted two bombs and Zander Darby and Christian Kirtley also cleared the fences. Corey Nunez had a RBI triple and Aaron Parker also tripled.
Seven Gauchos drove in runs, with Sundstrom leading the way with four on a pair of two-run homers. Ivan Brethowr, Nick Oakley and Nunez each had two RBIs.
UCSB scored its 14 runs in the first five innings, giving Tyler Bremner a big cushion to work with in his first start.
Bremner went five innings and allowed four earned runs on eight hits and a walk. He struck out seven.
UCSB improved to 17-4 on the season and 5-1 in the Big West. Northridge is 13-6, 3-3.
Kirtley got UCSB’s homer parade going in the first with an opposite-field solo blast off Northridge starter Kenji Pallares.
The Gauchos homered in each of the first four innings. In the bottom of the second, Sundstrom teed off with his first two-run homer to right center.
Sundstrom demolishes the ball OVER THE TREES 🌳🌳🌳 That’s his 2nd HR of the day as the Chos are leading by double digits!
B4 | Gauchos 11 – Matadors 1#GoChos pic.twitter.com/OX9vRCeJgf
— UCSB Baseball (@UCSB_Baseball) March 26, 2023
CSUN brought in a reliever Ryan Wentz to start the third inning, and UCSB jumped all over him. Zander sent the second pitch he saw 427 feet out to right field for the third Gaucho home run of the day.
Eight of the next nine UCSB batters reached base safely, and by the end of the inning it was 9-0.
After a single and two walks loaded the bases, LeTrey McCollum worked a walk to force in a run, then Oakley drove in two more with a single up the middle. Nunez and Brethowr each singled as well, adding the fifth and sixth runs in the inning.
The Matadors got a run back in the top of the fourth, but UCSB answered with four more runs in the frame. Broc Mortensen was hit by a pitch and came home on Sundstrom’s second two-run shot, a 453-foot drive to center field.
After Oakley worked a walk, Nunez drove him home with a triple to right center, then Brethowr drove home Nunez on an RBI single that bounced right off the first base bag.
Bremner had started the game strong, striking out the side in the first inning, and not allowing a run through the first three. But the freshman had spent a lot of time sitting on the bench while his offense poured on the runs, and the Matadors knocked a pair of singles, then a pair of doubles to tally their three runs in the fifth inning.
The Gauchos got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning, as a bases-loaded passed ball allowed Mortensen to scamper home from third.
Brady Huddlestun made his first appearance in 23 days out of the bullpen on Sunday. He picked up right where he left off with two scoreless innings. The right-hander has allowed only an unearned run this season.