No. 13 Gauchos Bounce Back for 7-3 Win at Davis

JJ Muno (Photo by Tony Mastres)
JJ Muno (Photo by Tony Mastres)

DAVIS, Calif. – A day after mustering just two runs in a big series-opening loss to UC Davis, No. 13 UC Santa Barbara rebounded offensively for a 7-3 win on Saturday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium that evened the series at one win apiece. 

UCSB (31-11-1, 9-5 Big West) did most of its damage in a four-run fourth, scoring all the runs it would need and negating an early 1-0 UC Davis lead.

Starting pitcher Joe Record was wild at times, walking in a pair of runs, but was otherwise effective in a six-plus inning effort in which he allowed just two runs on three hits. The righty also struck out a career-high seven. 

Every starter reached base for the Gauchos and all but one had at least one hit. Sophomore JJ Muno was instrumental in the offensive effort, doubling down the right field line twice and scoring each time while sophomore first baseman Austin Bush launched a massive home run in the ninth to give the Gauchos two key insurance runs. 

The Aggies (14-26, 3-11) plated a run in the eighth and threatened again in the ninth when the first two batters of the inning reached, but sophomore sensation Kyle Nelson came in to shut the door, earning his fifth save of the season by retiring all three batters he faced. UCSB's relief ace ended the game by fanning three-hitter Cameron Olson. 

UCD southpaw Spencer Henderson was tagged with the loss, falling to 1-3 on the season. He gave up five runs, four earned, on the day and allowed eight hits while walking two against three strikeouts. 

The Aggies bats struggled in the loss, producing just four hits, all of which were singles. They got a runner into scoring position in the final three innings of the game, but couldn't up with a clutch hit, going 0-8 as a team with runners in scoring position. 

Saturday's game started at 3:00 p.m. after being delayed from its scheduled 1:00 p.m. first pitch due to rainy weather. 

UCSB will look to capture the series tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. UCSBGauchos.com will carry a live audio broadcast of the game, accessible here or on the UCSB baseball schedule page.