SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – For the first time this season, the Gauchos failed to put a run on the board against an opponent, falling to the No. 20 Cal Poly Mustangs by a score of 7-0 on Friday night in the first of a three-game, non-conference series between the two teams. The loss dropped UCSB to 11-9, while the Mustangs improved to 16-4 overall.
Cal Poly starter Joey Wagman was masterful on the mound, tossing seven shutout innings while only allowing a pair of singles. He also struck out 11 Gauchos – the first opposing pitcher this season to punch out at least 10 UCSB batters. The righty improved his record to 5-1 with his performance.
Wagman's control eluded him later in the outing, as he issued five free passes and hit a batter, leading to a pair of UCSB scoring chances. The Gauchos loaded the bases in the seventh inning after Wagman hit Robby Nesovic to lead off the inning. Woody Woodward and Cameron Newell would follow with singles, but a flyout and 1-2-3 twin killing ended that rally. He would come back out to pitch the eighth, but would walk the first two batters before making way for reliever Reed Reilly, who induced a pair of infield flies before striking out Nesovic to snuff out the opportunity.
With his seventh inning single, Woodward reached base for the sixteenth straight game to start the season. Leadoff hitter Luke Swenson also chipped in on offense with a pair of walks.
Reigning Big West Field Player of the Week Brian Mundell hit a two-run homer for the Mustangs in the second inning for what would turn out to be the game-winning run. Nick Torres followed suit in the bottom of the third with another two-run shot.
UCSB starter Austin Pettibone struggled against the Cal Poly offense, but logged 6 2/3 innings to give him six or more innings pitched in each start this year. The sophomore allowed six runs, 10 hits and was tagged with the loss to drop his record to 3-2. Freshman Hector Lujan and junior Cameron Cuneo each pitched 2/3 of an inning and neither allowed an earned run.
The series will shift back to Santa Barbara tomorrow, as the Mustangs and Gauchos will do battle at 2:00 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. For tickets, click here. Sunday's series finale will take place in San Luis Obispo, Calif.