UCSB battled to a 6-6 tie in eight innings against Loyola Marymount on Friday as the game was called due to darkness. The two squads will finish the game at noon Sunday, an hour before the series’ final game is to begin on the Westchester campus.
Freshman ace Mike Ford, taking the mound for the first time since his one-hitter to begin the season, pitched six solid innings, allowing two runs on nine hits and striking out six. Loyola Marymount starter Andy Beal dueled Ford throughout, allowing two earned runs on seven hits and striking out a career-high 10 batters.
Both starters left the game in the sixth with the score tied, 2-2.
An error, a single and a walk loaded the bases for the Gauchos in the top of the seventh. Eric Oliver stepped to the plate and laced his second double of the game to left field off Lions reliever Lee Roberts, scoring Patrick Rose and Brian Gump. A Mike Zuanich sacrifice fly scored Chris Fox for the third run of the inning.
Loyola Marymount would not be silenced as the Lions responded with four runs of their own in their half of the seventh, highlighted by left fielder Mike Koch’s third RBI double of the game.
Chris McMurray singled to lead off the eighth and was advanced to second by a Matt Valaika sacrifice bunt. With two outs and the Gauchos down 6-5, Gump doubled home McMurray to tie the game. The Lions wouldn’t score in the bottom half of the eighth and the game was then called because of darkness.
Loyola countered with a run in the fourth when Koch doubled home Ollie Enos to tie the game, 1-1. Both teams scored one run a piece in the sixth, before giving way to their bullpens in the seventh.
Oliver was 3-for-4 in the game with two doubles, one run and two RBI. Zuanich was 1-for-3 with a double, a sacrifice fly and two RBIs.
For Loyola Marymount, Enos was 2-for-4 with three runs scored, while Koch went 3-for-4 with three doubles and three RBIs.
The teams will resume the game in the top of the ninth inning at noon Sunday. UCSB takes on LMU in a day-night doubleheader Saturday.