Monster 5th Inning Sinks Gauchos
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Cal Poly exploded for 11 runs in a game-changing fifth inning to defeat UC Santa Barbara, 15-5 on Saturday afternoon at Baggett Stadium.
The victory assured Cal Poly of its first series win over the Gauchos since 2009 and prevents UCSB from finishing Big West Conference play at or above .500 on the season. UCSB falls to 24-26 overall and 10-13 in the Big West. Cal Poly, with postseason hopes still alive, improves to 32-20 and 12-8 in conference play.
The marathon fifth inning by the Mustangs erased what was believed to be a game-changing second inning by the Gaucho offense. UCSB struck for five runs in the second inning, highlighted by Lance Roenicke's two-run double.
But the Mustangs sent 14 men to the plate in the fifth and saw Mitch Haniger blast a three-run home run and Alex Michaels rip a three-run triple to highlight the inning. UCSB used four pitchers in the inning, who combined to walk six batters in the inning and 11 on the afternoon.
Andrew Vasquez was touched for four earned runs in 4.1 innings with five strikeouts and seven walks. For the first time all season Vasquez's ERA jumped over the 2.00 mark as he aims to lead the conference in ERA. The freshman's ERA currently stands at 2.08.
Jared Wilson (0-1) took the loss as he didn't record an out vs. the three batters he faced in the fifth.
Brett Vertigan went 4-for-5 for the Gauchos with a run scored and an RBI as the speedy leadoff man boosted his batting average to .379. He has reached in all but one game this season for UCSB.
The Gauchos round out Big West play on Sunday against Cal Poly with a 1 p.m. game. The game can be heard live online on AM 1290 or online by clicking here with the pregame show starting a half-hour prior to first pitch.