A trio of UCSB pitchers combined for the first shutout under the lights at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, and the Gauchos hit their first homer at home en route to collecting their fourth straight win, a 7-0 decision over Abilene Christian in game one of a weekend series on Friday night.
Sophomore southpaw Rodney Boone redeemed himself from his opening-day performance, tossing 5.2 innings and only giving up two hits, while striking out eight. He faced 21 batters and only allowed five to reach safely on his way to his first win of the season.
Conner Roberts allowed one hit and no walks in 2.1 innings and Josh Candau finished off the game going three up-three down in the ninth.
The UCSB offense had another impressive showing, outhitting the Wildcats 9-3. Three of the nine hits went for extra bases and the Gauchos added four walks and six RBI as a team.
The scoring got going with two outs in the bottom of the third. Senior shortstop McClain O’Connor reached first on a Wildcat error before moving to third on a single by sophomore Cole Cummings. With two aboard, Marcos Castanon, stepped to the plate and ripped the first home run under the Uyesaka Stadium lights and his second homer of the year to left field to put his team up 3-0.
Another run came across in the very next inning when Steele Ledford put a ball into to play with the bases loaded and drove home Kyle Johnson.
Castanon made it 5-0 in the sixth with an RBI single to left that drove in O’Connor. The junior second baseman went 3-for-5 with a home run, four RBI, and a run.
O’Connor launched the second Gaucho homer under the lights with a two-run shot in the eighth.
Christian Kirtley and Jason Willow added a pair of singles for Santa Barbara, while Johnson hit the team’s first triple of the season on a deep ball to right center.
Game two of the series is slated for Saturday at 4 p.m., weather permitting.