Zak Edgington's Strong Outing, Offense Help Finish Off Sweep of Pacific

STOCKTON, Calif. - Zak Edgington battled some wildness, but when the dust settled on Sunday the Gauchos' left-handed starter had shut down the top-hitting team in the Big West as the UC Santa Barbara baseball team finished off a three-game sweep of Pacific with a 6-2 victory.

Of course, the senior Edgington was helped out immensely by the time he took the mound for the first time as his offense scored five first-inning runs en route to the sweep. Edgington went 8.0 innings - tying his career high - and allowed just two hits and one earned run with six strikeouts. But he also battled some wild moments as he walked six batters and hit three others.

UCSB improves to 21-17 overall and 7-5 in the Big West while UOP falls to 11-27, 1-8.

The Gauchos sent all nine of their batters to the plate in the first inning against Pacific righty Mike Hager, who entered having not allowed a run in his previous two starts.

Brett Vertigan led things off with a single and Lance Roenicke's sacrifice bunt moved him to second. A wild pitch and a passed ball allowed Vertigan to score. After a walk, Joey Wallace pounded a single to left and Greg Mahle followed with one of his own to score Brandon Trinkwon.

Ryan Palermo's base hit brought in Mahle, who had moved to second on a throw home after his single, before Steven Moon's single put runners on the corners.

Marc Venning, who had three hits for the second straight game, laced a double down the left field line to plate Palermo and as left fielder Jacob Goulder bobbled the ball, Moon sprinted all the way from first to score the fifth run of the inning.

That was more than enough for Edgington as he pitched himself into - and out of - several early jams, including a bases loaded situation in the fourth. However, he never broke as Pacific could only touch him for a single fifth inning run.

Vertigan capped a tremendous week with three more base hits - giving him eight in the four games - as UCSB enjoyed its first sweep of conference play and its first since taking all three from Rhode Island in March. The Gauchos' four-game winning streak is their longest of the season.

UCSB finishes its Northern California trek with a 3 p.m. game on Monday at Saint Mary's before returning home for a three-game series vs. UC Davis. Listen to the Gauchos face the Gaels by clicking here.

Tickets for the Davis series - and all Gaucho events - can be purchased by calling 893-UCSB or clicking here.