SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – UCSB came back to tie the game after being down 5-0 to Cal Poly, but were eventually defeated 8-7 by Chris Hoo's game winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to break a 7-7 tie Saturday night at Baggett Stadium.
The loss dropped the Gauchos' record to 20-6, 2-3. The Mustangs improved to 25-5, 4-1 with the victory.
UC Santa Barbara's offense was on a roll, scoring their seven runs on 16 hits. Tyler Kuresa and Robby Nesovic paced the Gauchos' offense, combining to go 7 for 10. Woody Woodward and Andrew Calica each had two hits, and every other starting position player chipped in a hit as well.
Through the first five frames, the game looked to be a wild one as the leads never lasted for long. The Mustangs quickly broke out to a 5-0 lead after two, scoring four of those runs with a two-out rally in the second inning. The Gauchos would storm back in the fourth with a six-run rally to take the lead 6-5, capped off by Cameron Newell's two-run double. Cal Poly's Tim Wise took back the lead 7-6 in the bottom of the inning with a two-run single. UCSB would tie the game by manufacturing a run in the fifth by the book. Calica led off the inning with a single, and after stealing second, proceeded to take third on a sacrifice bunt by Jackson Morrow. Ryan Clark would drive Calica in with a groundout and tie the score at 7-7.
The score would stay tied at 7-all thanks to excellent relief pitching by UCSB's Kenny Chapman and Cal Poly's Reed Reilly. Unfortunately for the Gauchos, they were not able to score before the Mustangs walked off in the bottom of the ninth with a one-out RBI single by Hoo off of closer Dillon Tate.
Nesovic was the starting pitcher for UCSB along with being the designated hitter, but had a rough day on the mound. He only lasted for two innings, allowing five runs and ended up with a no-decision. Justin Calomeni had an equally rough day as the starting pitcher for Cal Poly, pitching 3.1 innings and allowing five runs as well.
Chapman had an excellent performance out of the bullpen for the Gauchos, pitching 4.1 shutout innings with four strikeouts. Dylan Hecht picked up the loss after allowing a baserunner to start the ninth inning and dropped to 2-1 on the season. Reed Reilly stood in UCSB's way from adding to the scoreboard, pitching three shutout innings and subsequently picked up the win, improving to 1-1.
The Mustangs were led offensively by Mark Mathias, Jordan Ellis, and Brian Mundell, each collecting two hits. All of their starters got on base at least once.
UCSB will face off with Cal Poly in a rubber match tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m.