SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Mac Lardner allowed just a single unearned run over a five-inning start and Gonzaga's bullpen held UC Santa Barbara off the board the rest of the way as the Gauchos fell 4-1 in Monday's non-conference tilt at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
UCSB (11-15) had just six hits as a team in the contest, the last of an 11-game homestand. Of those six, only Armani Smith's first-inning double went for extra bases.
The Gauchos scored their only run of the game in the sixth inning, taking advantage of an error by Gonzaga third baseman Jeff Bohling, who kicked a leadoff chopper from Smith. UCSB's right fielder went to third on a wild pitch and an Austin Bush groundout, then came in to score when Tommy Jew lined an outside pitch into center field for an RBI single.
That was as close as UCSB would get however, as only one runner would reach over the final three innings.
Freshman Ben Brecht had a second solid start for UCSB, allowing just two earned runs over six innings. The southpaw scattered eight hits and walked just one in his 99-pitch outing.
Gonzaga scored the only two runs it would need against Brecht in the third, with the first four batters of the inning reaching on hits. After a leadoff bunt single, Brecht and the Gauchos were a bit unlucky as the Zags knocked in a pair with back-to-back opposite field bloop hits down the left field line.
Still facing a two-on, nobody out situation, Brecht did well for himself in limiting the damage to two runs, inducing three straight flyouts to end the threat. After the third, the Wilmette, Ill. native didn't allow a runner past first the rest of his outing.
Tyler Frost added insurance runs for Gonzaga with a run-scoring single in the seventh and a sac fly in the ninth. With three RBIs, he was the Zags' top performer, but Sam Brown (3-4, three runs) and Nick Brooks (2-3) also had standout days.
UCSB returns to action this weekend with a three-game Big West Conference set at Cal State Northridge, starting on Friday at 3:00 p.m.