EUGENE, Ore. — Four Gauchos hit a total of six home runs as UCSB swept 20th-ranked Oregon Saturday, 10-1 and 4-1, to complete the team’s first-ever series sweep of the Ducks.
The wins improve UCSB to 5-2 on the season, while Oregon falls to 4-3. The Gauchos took the three-game sweep by a combined score of 20-3.
UCSB owned the first game, 10-0, behind multi-homer games from Jared Sundstrom and Aaron Parker, then took the second game, 4-1, with another long ball, this time off the bat of Justin Trimble, making the difference.
Gaucho pitchers were lights-out all day, with Matt Ager and Tyler Bremner combining to blank the Ducks in game one, giving up just two hits and striking out 16 between them. In the second game, Reed Moring, Hudson Barrett, and Sam Whiting kept the Oregon offense quiet.
Ager and Moring each picked up their first wins of the season, with Bremner and Whiting each earning saves.
In the first game shutout, Ager took the first six innings, giving up only two hits and striking out nine, walking three.
When he was done, Bremner came in and struck out the first five batters he faced on his way to a near-perfect afternoon. The freshman finished with seven strikeouts to no walks and no hits in three innings.
Meanwhile, the Gaucho hitters caught fire in the morning game, hammering five home runs. Aaron Parker started and ended the party, hitting his first long ball of the season in the second inning and his second of the game in the eighth.
Parker finished with a team-high three RBI, adding a run-scoring single in the fourth to his two solo shots.
Jared Sundstrom also launched a pair of big flies Saturday morning, hitting his first in the fourth and his second in the eighth. That eighth inning included three UCSB home runs, with Christian Kirtley’s first of the year preceding Sundstrom’s and Parker’s.
All five homers Saturday morning were solo shots, with the Gauchos’ other five runs coming by way of Parker’s RBI single, a throwing error, a two-run Corey Nunez single, and a balk.
The run-fest continued into the early stages of the second game, with Zander Darby’s sacrifice fly giving the Gauchos a second-inning lead before Justin Trimble hit the sixth Santa Barbara home run of the day, driving in two more in the fourth. Those two would prove to be the decisive runs, as Oregon got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, but Sundstrom racked up his third RBI of the day with a sacrifice fly to provide some insurance in the top of the ninth inning.
Reed Moring kept the strong pitching rolling Saturday afternoon. The freshman retired the first six Ducks he saw, and bounced back from a lead-off double in the third by setting down the side in order again.
Moring did give up a run on another double in the fourth, but responded by striking out the next two batters. After a smooth fifth, he got out of the sixth thanks to a funky 6-3-4 double play, and his outing extended two-thirds of the way through the seventh before Hudson Barrett stepped in to relieve him.
Barrett allowed three baserunners but no scores in his two innings of work, striking out five. Two of those K’s came with a runner on third in the bottom of the eighth, ending the threat. After giving up his second hit of the day in the ninth, Barrett relinquished final-out duties to Sam Whiting, who induced a fly out to end the game.
Nunez, a freshman, went 5-for-8 on the day at the plate, and for the series hit .600, raising his season average to a team-leading .478 batting average and .571 on-base percentage.
The Gauchos’ three-home run eighth inning in game one is their first time hitting three homers in an inning since May 23, 2009.