February 19, 2012

UCSB Finishes Series With No. 23 Oregon State

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Earlier on Sunday, UC Santa Barbara head coach Andrew Checketts got his first career victory in dramatic fashion, and with a chance to add to it later on in the day, the Gauchos were unable to pull off the sweep.

A walk-off hit by Brett Vertigan on Sunday morning couldn't carry the Gauchos to a victory on Sunday afternoon as UCSB completed a game postponed due to darkness with a 13-12, 12-inning win followed by an 8-6 loss to No. 23 Oregon State.

UCSB dropped three of four on the weekend to the nationally-ranked Beavers but led in three of the games and despite committing nine errors on the weekend could be looking at a different overall result.

Yet the Gauchos scrapped and clawed in every game against the two-time national champions and led for the majority of Sudnay's finale.

Vertigan, the hero from the suspended game, tripled in a run and then scored in the fourth inning to give Santa Barbara a 2-0 lead.

Freshman Austin Pettibone was solid through the first five innings but ran into trouble in the sixth. An error by Joey Wallace put the leadoff man on and Pettibone walked the next batter before getting an out and then hitting a batter to load the bases.

Another walk forced in a run before Jeremy Peterson relieved Pettibone. Michael Conforto then blasted a three-run home run to hang five runs on the board and lead 5-2.

UCSB scored twice in the bottom of the sixth on a passed ball and on Lance Roenicke's ground ball to make it 5-4.

OSU scored three more times in the eighth, but the Gauchos didn't go down easily.

Marc Venning opened the bottom of the frame with a double and pinch-hitter Luke Swenson singled him home. A throwing error on a potential double play grounder put Swenson on third and Roenicke's fly ball scored him to make it 8-6.

However, after Wallace led off the ninth with a single the Gauchos couldn't bring him around.

UCSB, though, was riding high early on Sunday. After Ryan Palermo's game-tying home run in the ninth inning on Saturday pushed the game to be postponed due to darkness, Matt Vedo pitched 2.2 scoreless innings with three strikeouts to keep the Gauchos in it.

In the 12th inning Jow Winterburn was hit by a pitch and Joe Lent singled to left to put runners on first and second with no one out. Vertigan then popped a ball into shallow center field to score pinch-runner Joe Woodward to give the Gauchos a 13-12 victory.

UCSB returns home for a three-game series during the March 2 weekend vs. Loyola Marymount with all three games broadcast live online by clicking here.

Season tickets are still available by calling 893-UCSB or by clicking here.

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