SAN JOSE, Calif. – It wasn't the senior closer. Or the junior. It was the freshman who slammed the door on San Jose State's chances in the ninth inning on Friday night.
Freshman right-hander Austin Pettibone relieved Jared Wilson – who relieved Matt Vedo – in the ninth inning with the bases loaded and one out and struck out the next two batters to give UCSB a 3-1 victory in the opener of the three-game series.
Pettibone, who was stellar in his first collegiate start on Sunday vs. No. 23 Oregon State, barely flinched when he had to close out a game that seemed in the Gauchos' back pocket after the start Kevin Gelinas gave UCSB.
However, Vedo walked the first two batters he faced – along with a wild pitch and a balk – before hitting a batter. But, with an out at the plate, Vedo was still tiptoeing trouble before giving way to Wilson, the hard-throwing right-hander. Wilson walked a batter and plunked another, forcing in another before exiting for Pettibone.
Kevin Gelinas went 6.1 innings and allowed just two hits with just one walk. The senior left-hander struck out two and allowed just one runner to second base in a dominating performance. However, Gelinas was forced to leave with a man out in the seventh inning after retiring 12 consecutive batters due to an injury. In two starts this season Gelinas has 10 strikeouts and has allowed just two runs in 11.1 innings.
After Gelinas gave way to Jeremy Peterson, the senior right-hander inherited a 1-2 count and allowed a double before striking out the next batter. Zak Edgington relieved Peterson and retired all four batters he faced with
UCSB broke the scoreless tie in the fifth inning when Joey Wallace reached on a one-out bunt single and moved to third on Lance Roenicke's double an out later. After Brandon Trinkwon walked, Ryan Palermo drew a walk to force in a run and give the Gauchos a 1-0 lead.
In the eighth, with two outs and two on after a pair of walks, pinch hitter Greg Mahle punched a single to left field to score Bryce Tafelski just ahead of the throw from Michael Gerlach and give UCSB a 2-0 lead. For the freshman Mahle it was his first RBI in his collegiate career.
An inning later Marc Venning hit a two-out single up the middle to score Trinkwon and give the Gauchos a 3-0 lead. For Venning, it marked the fourth straight game he has a hit in
UCSB compiled 11 hits and drew eight walks against the Spartans but couldn't break through with timely hitting until the later innings. Roenicke, Tafelski and Peter Maris each recorded two hits while Trinkwon drew four walks.
The Gauchos continue their series at SJSU with 1 p.m. games on Saturday and Sunday and then play at Fresno State with a 6 p.m. game on Tuesday night. That game will be broadcast live online – click here to listen.
UCSB returns home for a three-game series vs. Loyola Marymount starting next Friday at 2 p.m. Get your tickets by clicking here or calling 893-UCSB.