SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – No. 23 UC Santa Barbara saw a three-game winning streak come to a halt on Tuesday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium after suffering 4-1 loss to visiting St. Mary's.
Lefty Ty Madrigal was a standout on the mound for the Gaels (5-2), delivering seven innings of two-hit ball and allowing just five baserunners all day.
The Gauchos (4-4) were held off the board until the bottom of the ninth, when junior first baseman Austin Bush drilled a solo homer to right to save UCSB from its second shutout of the season.
Before that point, Bush's first-inning single and a fifth-inning double from sophomore right fielder Michael McAdoo stood as the only Gaucho hits.
"We had a lot of the same-at bats today," said UCSB head coach Andrew Checketts. "We didn't do a good job of hitting a fastball away and if you're going to be good in college baseball, you need to be able to handle that pitch. It's easy for excuses to set in when things don't go well, so we just want to make sure we're a little more resilient."
UCSB's bullpen was a bright spot on Tuesday, as a quartet of relievers combined for 3 2/3 shutout innings.
Freshman righty Chris Lincoln started it off with a fireman-like performance in the sixth, stranding a pair of inherited runners in scoring position with a three-pitch strikeout and a routine flyout from Gael left fielder Brett Rasso.
Closer Alex Garcia, in a non-save situation, put a pair of runners on but recovered to roll up back-to-back comebackers to end the top of the ninth.
UCSB starter Chris Clements allowed three earned runs and nine hits over 5 1/3 innings, but did strike out seven batters.
St. Mary's scored all four of its runs with Clements on the mound. The first four batters recorded hits in the second, with runs coming in on RBI singles from Edward Haus and Joe Vranesh.
Clements did a good job managing the damage in that frame, rolling up a double play ball after Vranesh's base hit and then striking out Conor Thane to end the inning.
The Gaels pushed across another pair of runs in the fifth on a pair of hits and four UCSB errors.
"I thought Chris did a good job of sticking in there," said Checketts. "He left some pitches up on two strikes and they made him pay for it, they had a good, short approach against him."
The Gauchos next travel to Lexington, Kty. for a three-game series against Kentucky, starting at 1:00 p.m. PST on Friday. UCSBGauchos.com will carry live audio broadcasts of each game against the Wildcats.