SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Designated hitter Josh Adams and second baseman JJ Muno clubbed home runs to lead No. 21 UC Santa Barbara to a sweep-clinching 6-2 win over Connecticut on an overcast Sunday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
After UConn (9-9) pushed across a single run in the top of the second to open the scoring, the Gauchos (15-3) answered back with two in the bottom half of the frame to go ahead 2-1.
UCSB went on to score at least one run in the next three innings to take a commanding 6-2 lead that proved to be more than enough for starting pitcher Joe Record and the UCSB bullpen.
The Gauchos have now won six consecutive games overall and seven straight on their home field. This was the third sweep and the fourth undefeated weekend of the season for UCSB.
"We talked to the guys last night about bringing a good amount of energy to the park today after two back-to-back wins earlier in the series," said UCSB head coach Andrew Checketts. "I thought we did a really good job of that today. A lot of credit goes to Joe Record, he was in the zone early and kept our guys in the game."
Adams was the one to put UCSB ahead in the second inning, smashing a 2-0 fastball over the right-center field fence for his third home run of the year.
Muno didn't wait long to re-join Adams atop the team's home run leaderboard, launching a solo shot into right field for his third big fly of the campaign.
UCSB's second roundtripper turned out to be the game-winning run, but the Gauchos added insurance runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
On the rubber, a taxed UCSB pitching staff got exactly what it needed from Record, who tossed seven solid innings of two-run ball, allowing six hits and walking a pair while striking out five.
After allowing a run on an RBI groundout in the second, Record got into a rhythm against the Huskies lineup, allowing just one hit between innings three and six. His best frame was in the fifth, when he followed up a long UCSB bottom of the fourth with a shutdown 1-2-3 inning that kept momentum in UCSB's favor.
The Placentia, Calif. native moved to 3-1 on the year after earning the win.
Sophomore pitcher Alex Garcia had one of the most impressive showings of his UCSB career in two-inning relief outing, going six-up six-down and striking out four batters. The hard-throwing right-hander recorded a strike 17 times in 22 pitches.
UConn starter Ronnie Rossomando took the loss after allowing four earned run in 3 1/3 innings. He allowed four hits and walked two while striking out just a single batter.
The Gauchos will look to continue their hot streak this week as they travel to Cal State Bakersfield for a Tuesday showdown. UCSB and USC will play a three-game series from Thursday to Saturday. The first two games of that series will be at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium before shifting to Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles on Saturday.