FULLERTON — The UCSB baseball team had a frustrating afternoon on Saturday, falling 5-0 in the series finale against Cal State Fullerton.
Having lost two of the three series games, the Gauchos fall to 6-3 in the Big West and 19-9 overall. Fullerton is 9-3 and 16-10.
The Gauchos put runners in scoring position in seven of their nine innings at the plate, and the bullpen kept the Titans off the board in the final three innings, but UCSB could not overcome an early deficit.
Like Friday evening, Cal State Fullerton struck first, tallying three runs in the second inning. A Gaucho error on a sacrifice bunt helped the Titans load the bases, then a sacrifice fly and two-out double to center brought the three runs around.
UCSB had chances to answer, but just could not drive in the runs. They had threatened in the top of the second, but a double play ended the Gauchos’ inning after they had runners on first and second with just one out.
They got a one-out double from Corey Nuñez in the third, and the same from Aaron Parker in the fourth, but left both stranded. UCSB had two runners on with just one out again in the fifth, but their double-steal attempt ran them into an out at third base, and a strikeout ended the frame.
Fullerton added their final two runs in the bottom of the fifth, as a wild pitch and passed ball moved a lead-off single over to third with just one out.
That ended Reed Moring’s day on the mound, with Hudson Barrett relieving him. Barrett walked the first batter he faced to load the bases, then a two-out single to left put the hosts up 5-0.
From there, however, Barrett and Brady Huddlestun combined to essentially shut down the Titan offense through the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, giving the Gaucho offense a chance to close the gap.
UCSB’s best chances to score came in the seventh and ninth innings. A two-out LeTrey McCollum double put runners on second and third in the seventh, but a strikeout ended that inning. In the ninth, John Newman, Jr. and Nick Oakley worked back-to-back one-out walks, but another strikeout and a flyout ended the game.
UCSB’s LeTrey McCollum extended his hitting streak to 14 games with his seventh-inning double; he is batting a team-best .404 over the course of his streak, adding six walks and four hit-by-pitches for an on base percentage of .500.
The Gauchos will return home to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium for a pair of non-conference contests on Monday and Tuesday, against San Jose State. First pitch times are set for 5:05 p.m. Monday and 3:05 p.m. Tuesday.
Tickets to each game are on sale for just $5.