No. 30 UCSB Baseball defeated LMU 4-2 Tuesday night sweeping the season series with the Lions. The Gauchos have now won three straight, all of which have been decided by two or less runs.

Hayden Hattenbach earned his first collegiate start tossing 3.2 innings and allowing just one earned run while striking out three. Matt Ager came in his relief with another solid outing throwing 2.2 innings and giving up zero runs while striking out a career-high five batters. Michael Rice (3-0) was once again great tossing a scoreless inning in his third win of the season and Ryan Harvey picked up his third save shutting down the top of the ninth.

Bryce Willits was the hot bat for the Gauchos going 2-for-4, with a double, two stolen bases, and two runs.

Jordan Sprinkle went 1-for-2 with a run and a walk and Broc Mortenson went 1-for-3 with 2 RBI, a double, and a run.

In Hattenbach’s first collegiate start, the sophomore retired the first five batters he saw in order before allowing a solo home run with two outs in the top of the second. It was one of just two hits given up on the day as he also retired the batters in order in the third.

Down 1-0, the Gauchos got going in the bottom of the third as Willits singled down the right field line and proceeded to steal second. Zander Darby walked and Willits showed his speed taking third on a wild pitch. A walk by Jordan Sprinkle loaded the bases and all eyes turned to Mortenson, who collected a grand slam on the Lions in there previous. Instead the loan run came on an HBP for Mortensen who has been hit four times in the last two games.

The Lions threatened in the fourth loading the bases with two out, but in came Ager who managed to get out the jam with a clutch strikeout.

The game went quiet until the Gauchos put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh as Willits doubled down the right field line. An RBI single by Jason Willow gave the Gauchos their first lead of the game at 2-1, but quickly LMU iced it at 2 apiece with a sac-fly in the top of the eighth.

In the bottom half of the inning Sprinkle came to the plate in the leadoff spot getting to second base on a walk and balk with Mortenson now at the plate. The reigning Big West home run champ took a ball to the wall in right field to score Sprinkle on an RBI double to regain the lead for the Gauchos. Christian Kirtley followed with a bunt to third to advance Mortenson and the sacrifice proved worth it as Kyle Johnson hit a single up the middle to make it 4-2.

UCSB now heads out for a pair of neutral matchups with UC San Diego to be held at Lake Elsinore Diamond, home of The Storm.