SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara baseball team got its first signature win of the Andrew Checketts era in a 7-1 victory over No. 8 Cal State Fullerton on Saturday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
The win, which sets up the possibility of UCSB's first series victory over Fullerton since the 2007 season, was the Gauchos' first against an opponent in the top-10 since an 8-2 victory over No. 1 UC Irvine on May 23, 2009.
UCSB improves to 24-23 overall and 10-10 in the Big West. Fullerton falls to 31-15 overall and 13-4 in conference play.
Matt Vedo's sparkling 3.0 innings of work in relief shut down Fullerton's chances at coming back in the game as the senior right-hander struck out five of the nine outs he recorded. Vedo entered the game in the fifth in relief of Andrew Vasquez with two on and one out and the Gauchos clinging to a 2-1 lead.
Vedo (5-4) struck out J.D. Davis and Anthony Trajano to end the threat and then retired Fullerton in order in the sixth.
In the bottom of the inning Marc Venning's double scored Brandon Trinkwon and Joey Wallace's double brought home Venning to make it 4-1. An inning later Lance Roenicke hit a two-run home run – his team-best fourth of the year – and the Gauchos were in control of the game.
Vedo, who retired the Titans in order in the seventh, gave way to closer Greg Mahle with two on and one out in the eighth and the lefty got a strikeout and a ground out to escape unscathed.
The Gauchos tacked on a run when Wallace reached on a bunt single, stole second and third, and came home on Mahle's sacrifice fly – his second of the game – for the final tally.
Vasquez was effectively wild in his time on the mound as he lasted just 4.1 innings and allowed just three hits. But he walked six and hit two others as he was touched for just one run, when the freshman left-hander walked in a run with the bases loaded in the fourth.
Brett Vertigan's single got the Gauchos on the board first and Mahle's sac fly in the fourth gave UCSB its first two runs.
UCSB finishes its series against CSUF with a 1 p.m. game on Sunday. The finale of the series will be senior day as the Gauchos say goodbye to seniors Zak Edgington, Kevin Gelinas, Jeremy Peterson, Ryan Palermo, Lance Roenicke, Bryce Tafelski, Matt Vedo and Joey Wallace.