No. 17 Gauchos Rout CSU Bakersfield, Win Seventh Straight

Josh Adams (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Josh Adams (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Sophomore left fielder Josh Adams had a pair of doubles and four runs scored, junior right field Devon Gradord drove in four runs, and freshman lefty Kyle Hatton faced the minimum over six innings in his first ever collegiate start to lead No. 17 UC Santa Barbara to a 10-4 win over CSU Bakersfield on Tuesday night at Hardt Field. 

The bottom of the order provided most of the offense for the Gauchos (16-3) against the Roadrunners (5-15), as the number six through eight batters in the lineup combined for eight of the team's 12 hits.

Besides Adams' and Gradford's three hit days, junior shortstop Clay Fisher had two singles himself while scoring a pair of runs. 

UCSB, which entered the day with a No. 7 ranking in the RPI, has now won seven straight contests. 

UCSB got on the board first in the top of the second inning, as Gradford brought in Adams and Fisher – who both reached via single – with a two-run double to left field. 

The Gauchos would push across a single run in each of the next two innings – first on an Austin Bush RBI groundout and then another run-scoring single from Gradford – to take a commanding 4-0 lead, which proved to be more than enough for Hatton, who turned in one of the most impressive debuts in program history. 

In a six-inning start, the 6-4 southpaw out of Norco, Calif. allowed just one hit with no walks while striking out four. He faced the minimum of 18 batters and needed just 58 pitches to do so. 

Hatton recorded a 1-2-3 inning in five out of his six frames. The only blemish on his record was a second inning single off the bat of Max Carter, who also started on the mound for Bakersfield, but he responded by rolling up a 6-4-3 double play ball on the very next batter. 

From there, Hatton retired the final 12 batters he faced in consecutive fashion, highlighted by a two-strikeout fifth. 

In the top of the sixth, UCSB scored another two runs on RBI singles from Gradford and leadoff hitter Andrew Calica before breaking the game open with a four-run seventh. 

Adams provided the big hit of that inning, shooting a double into the right field corner to score a run. The Gauchos also took advantage of three walks, a hit batsman, and two catcher's interference calls in the inning to push the score to 10-0. 

After Hatton left the game, CSUB was finally to able to get their offense going a little bit, scoring four runs over the game's final three innings. 

Carter ended up getting tagged with the loss for the Roadrunners after allowing five earned runs in six innings. 

The Gauchos will look to extend their winning streak this weekend, as they face off against the USC Trojans in a three-game series starting on Thursday. The first two games of that set will be played at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, while the finale will be played at USC's Dedeaux Stadium.