SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – No. 21 UC Santa Barbara scored seven runs across its final two turns at bat to secure a 9-6 win over Connecticut in Saturday's see-saw affair at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
It took a couple hours for the Gauchos' (14-3) bats to get hot on a cold and muggy day on the central coast, as they trailed the Huskies (9-8) by a score of 5-2 heading into the bottom half of the seventh inning.
From there, UCSB manufactured a three-run rally in the seventh before putting up a decisive four-spot in the eighth. Freshman right fielder Michael McAdoo – who finished a homer short of the cycle – was instrumental in both those outbursts, clubbing an RBI double in the seventh before plating what turned out to be the game-winning run with a two-run triple into the right-center field gap in the eighth.
"He had really mature at bats today as the number three hitter," said UCSB head coach Andrew Checketts. "He was seeing the ball really well and was able to put some good swings on pitches in the zone. He really looked like a middle of the order hitter today."
Though McAdoo, who was 3-5 with three RBIs on Saturday, was the offensive star against the Huskies, he was far from alone in leading UCSB to yet another comeback victory.
Sophomore shortstop Clay Fisher had a pair of hits, scored three times, and ignited the seventh inning rally with a leadoff single up the middle that chased UConn starter Tim Cate, who kept the Gauchos at bay in a six-plus inning outing, striking out eighth while allowing just one earned run.
Fisher also made one of the defensive plays of the year in the eighth inning. With the outfield playing deep in a no-doubles allignment, Fisher ranged about 75 feet into left field to make a spectacular diving grab on a John Toppa pop fly.
After Connecticut responded with a single run in the top of the eighth to reclaim the lead at 6-5, the UCSB offense got right back to work in the bottom half of the frame.
Fisher reached base via a hit by pitch to start off that frame, later moving to third on a perfectly executed hit-and-run single through the right side by Ryan Clark. A wild pitch brought in Fisher to tie up the score once again, and then McAdoo notched the game's biggest hit two batters later by powering a triple to the base of the right-center field fence.
Austin Bush, the walk-off hero of Friday's game, capped the day's scoring with a sac fly to deep right-center.
Freshman left-hander Kyle Hatton earned the win in his NCAA debut, giving up one earned run in his one inning of work.
UCSB starter Noah Davis had an up-and-down outing in his fifth collegiate start, allowing three earned runs with three strikeouts in six-plus innings. After allowing one run in the first, he recovered to keep the Huskies off the board untli the sixth inning. He was lifted after hitting Alex Lefevre with a pitch to open the seventh.
The Gauchos will look to complete the sweep of UConn tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. Sophomore Joe Record (2-1, 3.96 ERA) is slated to toe the rubber for UCSB against Connecticut's Ronnie Rossomando (0-1, 1.23 ERA).