March 23, 2013

Gauchos Smash Three Homers in 7-3 Win Over Cal Poly

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The Gauchos doubled their season home run tally in a 7-3 win over No. 20 Cal Poly on Saturday afternoon as Steven Fisher, Brandon Trinkwon, and Marc Venning each collected their first round-tripper of the year to even the non-conference series between the two teams at 1-1.

UCSB snapped a two game losing streak with the win, improving to 12-9 overall. Cal Poly, who have lost three of their last four after starting the season 14-1, fell to 16-5. It was the first time since Apr. 9, 2011 — also against Cal Poly — that the Gauchos hit three home runs. The Gauchos are now 2-2 this year against ranked opponents.

After the Gauchos took a 2-0 lead on solo shots from Fisher and Venning in the second and third innings, respectively, the Mustangs clawed back for two runs on an RBI single from Robert Armendariz in the fourth and an RBI groundout from Jimmy Allen in the sixth.

Trinkwon's sixth inning blast would end up being the difference in the game. After Jackson Morrow led off the inning with a single up the middle, Trinkwon hammered a 1-2 pitch from Cal Poly reliever Danny Zandona over the right field fence to put the Gauchos back up 4-2.

UCSB's bullpen shut the door from there, as Kenny Chapman came in and stranded an inherited runner in the seventh inning before throwing a scoreless eighth. Freshman righty Dylan Hecht pitched a perfect ninth inning, the fourth consecutive outing in which he has failed to surrender a hit.

Freshman southpaw Justin Jacome earned his second win of the season, logging his fourth quality start with a 6 1/3 IP, 3 ER effort. He also contributed with the glove, making a headlong dive in the first inning off an attempted sacrifice bunt to start a double play.

The Redlands, Calif. native allowed eight hits over his outing, but scattered them effectively and also received timely double plays in the first and second innings as well as a number of stellar defensive plays from shortstop Brandon Trinkwon and third baseman Marc Venning off sharply hit balls.

UCSB would add on three insurance runs in the seventh inning when freshman DH Robby Nesovic followed Tyler Kuresa's bases loaded RBI groundout with a two-run single up the middle.

Cal Poly starter Matt Imhof labored through his five innings on the bump, throwing 118 pitches and allowed eight hits, three walks, and two runs. He left the game in line for the loss, but escaped with a no decision after the Mustangs scraped a run across in the top of the sixth. His successor, Zandona, was not so lucky, picking up his first loss of the season after allowing Trinkwon's go-ahead home run. Zandona, now 2-1, gave up two runs and three hits in just 1/3 of an inning's work.

Trinkwon had one of his strongest offensive days of the season, ending the day going 2-3 with two walks, two runs scored, and two RBIs. Nesovic, Venning, and Jackson Morrow — hitting leadoff for the first time this season — all had two hits apiece as well as part of the team's 12 hit outburst.

The rubber match in the series is set for 1:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon at Baggett Stadium in San Luis Obispo, Calif. A radio broadcast for the game can be found here as well as on the baseball schedule page.