PROVO, Utah – UC Santa Barbara got off to hot starts in both ends of Friday's doubleheader at Miller Field, but ultimately couldn't overcome BYU's hot bats as the home team emerged victorious via a 7-6 walkoff in the opener before unloading in a 17-3 nightcap win.
With the pair of losses, the Gauchos dropped to 5-9 on the young season, while the Cougars improved to 6-7.
UCSB and BYU will conclude its series on Sunday morning, with first pitch scheduled for 11:00 a.m. PST. That game will be televised on BYU TV.
The Gauchos return to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium next weekend to host Stony Brook in the start of a season-long 11-game homestand.
Game One Recap
UCSB jumped out of the gate in the opener, clubbing six hits for five runs in the top of the first against BYU starter Brady Corless. Shortstop Clay Fisher started the hit parade with a leadoff double into the right-center gap, coming around to score on a Colton Burns infield single.
That was the peak of the game however for the Gauchos, as BYU chipped away at the lead with a two-run homer from Bronson Larsen in the second and a solo shot from David Clawson in the fifth.
After Clawson's leadoff blast, four of the next five Cougars got hits off Gaucho starter Kyle Nelson, with two runs coming in on a Daniel Schneemann double to tie the game. Nelson was lifted with runners on the corners and one out for Shea Barry, and he was able to induce two popouts to end the inning but not before allowing an RBI single to Kyle Dean, giving BYU its first lead.
Fisher briefly tied the game in the next half inning with a run-scoring three-bagger, but Schneemann came back to bite the Gauchos in the bottom of the seventh, yanking a 1-2 breaking ball off Barry inside the right field foul pole for a walkoff homer.
The opener of the doubleheader was predetermined as a seven-inning game earlier in the week, when inclement weather was forecasted.
Game Two Recap
Fisher put a charge into an elevated 2-0 fastball to lead off the nightcap, clearing the left field fence for his second homer of the year.
But from that point, it was all BYU as the home team responded for four runs on five singles in the bottom half of the first.
The Cougars went on to score multiple runs in each of the first four innings, including a seven-spot in the fourth with doubles from Brennon Anderson and Tanner Chauncey doing the most damage. After that fourth inning rally, BYU led 17-1.
UCSB didn't get on the board again until the eighth, when Billy Fredrick's opposite field single got past left fielder Keaton Kringlen to plate Michael McAdoo. Fredrick scored himself moments later on an RBI groundout from Josh Adams to cap the scoring.
Freshman lefty Ben Brecht settled down after some early hiccups to log five quality relief innings for UCSB. BYU got to the Wilmette, Ill. native for four hits after he relieved starter Chris Clements in the fourth, but Brecht bounced back to scatter three hits over four shutout frames the rest of the way. He retired seven straight at one point between the fifth and seventh innings.