Bakersfield Edges Gauchos, 7-6

Lance Roenicke
Lance Roenicke

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Four different UC Santa Barbara players collected two hits on Tuesday afternoon, but it wasn't enough as Cal State Bakersfield took advantage of six hit batsmen and six walks en route to a 7-6 comeback win at wind-swept Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Center fielder Brett Vertigan, shortstop Brandon Trinkwon, right fielder Joey Wallace and second baseman Joe Woodward each collected a pair of hits for the Gauchos.  The former two had a pair of RBI while the latter each had one. 

Freshman Greg Mahle, used mostly in a designated hitter role this season, received his first start on the mound for the Gauchos and overcame some early wildness to pitch 5.1 innings, allowing three hits and three earned runs.  Mahle also recorded four strikeouts.  He was able to escape a bases loaded first inning jam on a great defensive play by the right fielder Wallace and first baseman Marc Venning.

With one out and a Roadrunner at every base, Cael Brockmeyer hit a fly ball to Wallace in right.  With Jordie Hein tagging at third base, Wallace fired a rocket to Venning who dove and taggd out D.C. Legg who had strayed too far from the bag.  The out came before the run scored and the inning was over.

UCSB scored one run in the bottom half of the first and then, after Bakersfield tied it in the top of the second, scored four in the bottom half of the second to take a 5-1 lead.

A single by Woodward scored Joe Winterburn with the first run of the inning.  After a passed ball, Vertigan doubled home Woodward and then was singled home by Lance Roenicke.  Roenicke moved to second on a wild pitch and ultimately came home on a Trinkwon single.

The Roadrunners scored a run in the top of the third and the Gauchos responded with another of their own in the bottom half off of Roadrunner starter Austin Davis.  Davis left the game after facing two batters in the third inning having allowed all six UCSB runs. 

Bakersfield's James Barragan, Hayden Carter and Spenser Messmore combined for seven innings of shutout ball, allowing just four hits and two walks.

The Roadrunners scored three in the top of the sixth to creep back within 6-5.  Their inning started with two walks and two hit batters to force home the first run.  The final two runs scored on a bases loaded single by Andrew Letourneau off of the eventual losing pitcher Zak Edgington (0-1). 

Bakersfield scored its final two runs in the eighth.  Stuart Smith walked to lead off the inning and Kyle Dessimone was hit by a pitch putting two runners on with nobody out.  Hein was then walked to load the bases and Jeremy Peterson was summoned from the Gauchos' bullpen to replace Edgington.  Peterson induced a double play from Letourneu, but Smith trotted home with the tying run and Dessimone moved to third and then scored on a wild pitch.

UCSB couldn't get on the board against Messmore (1-0), who tossed the final three innings allowing just one hit and a walk while striking out five. 

The Gauchos are now 6-6 on the year while Bakersfield improves to 7-6.

UCSB travels to Reno this weekend for a three-game series against the University of Nevada.  The Gauchos will return home on Tuesday, March 13 to host Fresno State in a 3:00 p.m. game at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.