CHARLESTON, S.C. – No. 12 UC Santa Barbara and No. 24 College of Charleston battled to a 6-6 tie in Sunday's series finale at Patriots Point, leaving the three-game set in a deadlock with each team taking one win.
The Gauchos (21-7-1) went up 2-0 early in the back-and-forth affair, but had to fight back on multiple occassions after the Cougars (21-10-1) took the lead with four runs in the fourth and two more runs in the eighth.
Sophomore DH Austin Bush was UCSB's offensive leader on Sunday, going 2-4 with a pair of RBIs. Junior leadoff hitter Andrew Calica also had two hits with two runs scored while sophomore catcher Dempsey Grover joined his teammates in the multi-hit club with a pair of singles.
UCSB scored two runs apiece in both the eighth and ninth innings to stave off defeat.
Trailing 4-2, Bush and Grover chipped in clutch hits to tie it up in the eighth. Bush drove in the first run by driving a double into the right-center gap to plate Calica, who singled to lead off the inning. Grover then stroked a single between the shortstop and third baseman to bring in the tying run.
CoC responded with a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth to retake the lead, but the Gauchos went right back to work their next time at bat.
One out away from losing just their second series of the year, Billy Fredrick kicked off a rally by slapping a base hit into left field. A pair of walks later and UCSB had the bases loaded with Josh Adams at the plate.
The Elk Grove, Calif. native responded to the pressure situation with aggressiveness, swinging at the first pitch he saw and sending it through the 5-6 hole to score two runs and tie the game once again.
Freshman lefty Kyle Hatton pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth before the game was called due to a travel curfew.
The comeback got UCSB lefty Kyle Nelson off the hook after the southpaw allowed two earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. UCSB's stud reliever was downright unhittable over his first 3 2/3 innings, allowing just a single, but he hit a pair of batters in the eighth before allowing the go-ahead double to CoC's Dupree Hart.
The Gauchos will resume Big West action next week as they welcome Cal State Northridge to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium for a three-game series starting on Friday.