Vasquez, Venning Lead Gauchos to Doubleheader Sweep of Rhode Island

Vasquez, Venning Lead Gauchos to Doubleheader Sweep of Rhode Island

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara rode an outstanding pitching performance by freshman Andrew Vasquez and a 16-hit attack in the first game and a perfect 5-for-5 game at the plate by third baseman Marc Venning in the second game to a doubleheader sweep of Rhode Island on Friday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.  

The Gauchos (10-9) beat the Rams (6-11) by scores of 13-3 and 13-7. 

In game one, Vasquez (3-1) tossed 7.0 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out a career-high.  He did walk four but none came around to score.  Two of Vasquez's walks came to the first two batters he faced and he settled down after that.

UCSB didn't waste any time in game one, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first.  The big blows in the inning were an RBI triple by Brandon Trinkwon and an RBI single by Greg Mahle.  The single was one of three hits in the game for Mahle. 

The Gauchos scored four more in the fifth, including two on a two-run triple by Bryce Tafelski, and three in the sixth and seventh innings.  Rhode Island tagged reliever Cameron Cuneo with two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth. 

In addition to Mahle's 3-for-5, three RBI performance in game one, Lance Roenicke had three hits and three runs scored.  Trinkwon had a single to go along with his triple, and three runs as well.  Tafelski and Joey Wallace also had two hits and two RBI apiece.

The story in game two was more Gaucho offense, especially Venning who had four runs scored and three RBI to go along with his 5-for-5 performance.  Two of the junior's hits were doubles. 

UCSB trailed 5-2 entering the fifth inning but scored six times on just three hits to take an 8-2 lead. 

Trinkwon was safe when Rhode Island left fielder Chris Famiglietti and center fielder Jeff Roy got their signals crossed in left center and Famiglietti dropped the ball.  Rams' starting pitcher Nick Narodowy then walked three straight batters to force in the first of the six runs. 

After the third consecutive walk, Narodowy was pulled and replaced by Mike Bradstreet who was greeted by Venning with a two-run single.  Catcher Joe Winterburn followed Venning's single with a two-run double.  Winterburn ultimately scored the final run of the frame on a single by Trinkwon.

Rhode Island added single runs in the sixth and eighth, but UCSB tacked on three more in the seventh, two on a single by Trinkwon, and two more in the eighth, including one on another single by Vennings. 

Matt Vedo (3-2) went 5.1 innings and earned the win.  Jeremy Peterson and Jared Wilson combined to pitch the final 3.2 innings without allowing an earned run. 

In addition to Venning's performance at the plate, Trinkwon had a pair of hits, three RBI and walked twice.  Vertigan had two hits, two RBI and two runs scored. 

The Gauchos will take the next week off for final exams, returning to action with a doubleheader at the University of San Francisco on Saturday, March 24.  The first game will start at 11:15 a.m.  The teams will play a single game on Sunday, March 25 beginning at 1:00 p.m. 

UCSB returns home on Tuesday, March 27 to host Pepperdine at 3:00 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.