SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Making his first start in three week because of a foot injury, freshman right hander Noah lasted just one inning in UC Santa Barbara's 18-2 loss at the hand of first place Cal State Fullerton on Saturday afternoon.
The loss moved Cal State Fullerton (31-17 overall, 13-3 in Big West) three games ahead of the Gauchos (32-14-1, 10-7) in the Big West standings.
In his one inning of work Davis (4-3) walked the first batter, Josh Vargas, on four pitches. After striking out Timmy Richards, the Titans best hitter, he gave up a bouncing single through the left side to Tanner Pinkston. A fielder's choice by Dalton Blaser forced Pinkston at second and moved Vargas to third and then a wild pitch scored Vargas and advanced Blaser to second. Blaser moved up 90 more feet on a passed ball and then scored the second run of the inning on a double to right center by Jerrod Bravo. Ruben Cardenas popped out to end the inning and end Davis' appearance.
UCSB cut Fullerton's lead in half with a run in the bottom of the first. Clay Fisher led off with an infield single and he went to second when Richards' throw to first was wild. He went to third on Andrew Calica's sacrifice and scored on an Austin Bush ground out.
Freshman Kevin Chandler, who entered the game having tossed just 17 innings on the season, came out to start the second for the Gauchos. He gave up a run in the second and three in the fourth. Chandler allowed six hits and four earned runs in his three innings of work.
The Gauchos notched their final run of the game in the bottom of the fourth. J.J. Muno doubled down the right field line and kept on going to third when Blaser bobbled the ball. A ground out by Sam Cohen chased Muno home and the score was 6-2 after four innings.
Freshman Kyle Hatton replaced Chandler to start the fifth. Fullerton scored one run in that inning and then sent 12 batters to the plate in sixth, scoring seven times off of Hatton and sophomore Kenny Chapman to extend the lead to 14-2. The Titans scored two runs apiece in the seventh and eighth for the final runs of the day.
UCSB's fourth freshman pitcher of the day, Grant Dragmire, hurled the final 1.1 innings allowing just a hit.
Titan starter John Gavin (5-2) was outstanding in his six innings of work, allowing just three hits and two unearned runs. Maxwell Gibbs, Gavin Velasquez and Brett Conine each hurled one shutout inning to close the books on the Gauchos.
Santa Barbara finished with just four hits, one apiece by Fisher, Muno, Thomas Rowan and Tevin Mitchell. Mitchell, who started at second base, gave the Gauchos a highlight in the top of the first when he saved a run with a spectacular running, diving, stretching catch while sprinting away from the infield of a ball off the bat of Cardenas. When the ball left the bat, it looked like a certain run scoring base hit, but instead it ended the inning.
UCSB and Fullerton will play the rubber game of the three-game series on Sunday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m.