Gauchos Suffer 5-1 Defeat in Texas Series Opener

Austin Pettibone (Photo by Tony Mastres)

AUSTIN, Tex. Parker French allowed just one run and five hits over eight innings for the Longhorns, while a three run outburst by the Texas offense in the fourth inning doomed the Gauchos to defeat in a 5-1 loss in Friday night's series opener at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

The loss brought a halt to UCSB's four game winning streak, whose record now sits at 8-5. Conversely, the Longhorns snapped a four game losing streak while improving their record to 8-5.

UCSB starting pitcher Austin Pettibone had yet another solid start for the Gauchos, pitching into the seventh inning and allowing four earned runs with four strikeouts and three walks. Pettibone was especially impressive early in the game, allowing just one hit a single over the first three innings of the game. 

However, the Longhorns offense was much more potent the second time through the lineup, greeting Pettibone with four straight hits to start the fourth frame. The most damaging hit came with two on and nobody out, when Mark Payton tripled down the right field line to clear the bases. Payton would score in the next at bat on a C.J. Hinojosa single. Pettibone would escape further damage by getting three straight groundouts to end the inning.

The Longhorns would tack on another run to Pettibone's line in the sixth when they started the inning with three consecutive singles. After a strikeout with the bases loaded, the Gauchos escaped the jam by pulling off your everyday 9-4-2-3-6 double play when the Longhorn runners at first and second base didn't see that Jacob Felts had been held up at third base on a Weston Hall single. Tyler Kuresa tagged out Hall at first then quickly fired to Brandon Trinkwon at second, who applied the tag on Codey McElroy to end the inning.

Pettibone ended up with the loss on the night, pushing his 2013 record to 2-1. It was the first time this season in four starts he failed to record a quality start (six or more innings pitched, three earned runs or fewer).

Texas starter Parker French limited the Gauchos offense to just five hits over his eight innings on the bump by utilizing a tricky sinker that produced 18 groundouts out of 24 possible outs. With the win, French's record improved to 3-1.

Junior catcher Jackson Morrow, who went 2-4 on the day, was the only Gaucho to get multiple hits off French.

Sophomore second baseman Woody Woodward continued his hot-hitting ways with a sixth inning double just inside the left field foul line. Woodward would advance to third on a Trinkwon groundout and then score on a wild pitch for the Gauchos only run.

Sophomore first baseman Tyler Kuresa capped off his 2-4 day with a ninth inning double.

The series will continue tomorrow with UCSB's freshman lefty Justin Jacome opposing Texas's Dillon Peters. First pitch is set for 12:00 noon Pacific time.