'Bows Outlast Gauchos to Take 2-1 Series Lead
HONOLULU, Hawai'i – Sophomore third baseman Peter Maris delivered a three-run home run and both freshman designated hitter Robby Nesovic and sophomore center fielder Cameron Newell had a pair of hits on Satuday night, but it wasn't enough as the Gauchos fell to the Hawai'i Rainbows by a score of 6-4 at Les Murakami Stadium.
For the second straight game, a late 'Bows breakthrough turned out to be the difference. After sophomore lefty Greg Mahle allowed the first two baserunners to reach in the bottom of the eighth inning with the score tied 4-4, Hawai'i right fielder Connor George plated the eventual game winning run with a double to right field.
UCSB (13-12, 1-2) couldn't get a hit across in the top of the ninth, giving Hawai'i (7-17, 2-1) their second consecutive win. Jon Flinn picked up the win for the Rainbows after allowing just a hit batsmen over his 1 1/3 innings pitched. Mahle (4-4) suffered the loss for the Gauchos.
Freshman righty Kenny Chapman, in just his third collegiate start for UCSB, allowed four runs over 4 2/3 innings. He only struck out one batter, but also walked just one. With the no-decision, he maintains his perfect 3-0 record.
Rainbows starter Matt Cooper, the reigning Big West Pitcher of the Week, was not as successful this week against the Gauchos, allowing four runs over seven innings. The righty gave up a pair of big hits to UCSB, including Nesovic's RBI double in the first inning and Maris's three-run shot in the fourth inning. It was Maris's second home run of the season – he is the only Gaucho with multiple home runs so far this season.
However, besides those two big hits, UCSB was held off the scoreboard by the Hawai'i pitching staff. Cooper, Flinn, and Lawrence Chew combined to throw 5 1/3 innings of scoreless, three-hit ball after the Maris home run.
Newell contributed a pair of singles on the day, while Nesovic's 2-3 performance snapped an 0-10 slide.
Though the Rainbows won the Big West Conference portion of the series, the Gauchos can earn an overall series split with a win in tomorrow's non-conference finale. Nesovic will be on the bump for the Gauchos, with Scott Squier pitching for Hawai'i. First pitch is set for 4:05 p.m. Pacific time.